Sky-high expectations follow Pacelli into season
By Jacob Heid
STEVENS POINT — The Pacelli boys’ basketball team is coming off of a sectional semifinal appearance last season and finished the year with a 24-4 (12-0) record.
Big expectations accompany the Cardinals as they head into the upcoming season with returning junior stars Jaydon Awe (17.4 PPG) and Camden Schurk (17.1 PPG), along with plenty of talent behind that.
With Pacelli arguably one of the best D5 schools in the state, Head Coach John Schurk has honed the focus on players doing their job every night because nothing is guaranteed.
“I think they’ve got that mindset. I think they know that it’s not going to be given to them,” Schurk said. “We’re going to take every practice at a time. I think the boys right now, I think they’re locked in and they’re not looking too far ahead.”
Awe and Schurk had outstanding sophomore campaigns, as both guys hit the 17 PPG mark last season. Awe also led the team in rebounds with 16 per contest.
Schurk (John) expects much of the same production from those two players.
The depth of the Cardinals is another aspect of Pacelli’s success.
Seniors Logan Mayer and Andrew Van Order can piece together double-digit scoring performances with their shooting ability.
Mayer (12.8 PPG) was third on the team in scoring a season ago and shot nearly 43% from deep on 89 attempts.
Van Order was the only other player with more 3-point attempts with 130.
The ceiling for the 2023-24 Pacelli team is a state title.
Schurk (John) and his players are taking it slow and using smaller goals to reach the ultimate goal.
Raising the gold ball at the Kohl Center is within reach and is the ultimate goal for the Cardinals.
“We have a lot of small goals that have to meet that point,” Schurk explained. “We make a list of our small goals to meet up to that big goal. If we can’t meet the small goals, the big goal won’t happen.”
Pacelli opened its season with a home scrimmage Nov. 20 vs. Mosinee.
The Cardinals start the regular season with a road matchup vs. Menominee Indian on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at 7 p.m.