John Marshall High School basketball didn’t just get good; it’s been good for years

3/2/2023, 6 p.m.
There has been a lot of talk about John Marshall High School lately. Some good and some bad. I stayed ...

There has been a lot of talk about John Marshall High School lately. Some good and some bad. I stayed away because outsiders love opinions and never base things on facts. What lies behind those walls of a poorly unkept building and below that building is a strong foundation.

There have been many who attended that school and went on to be some of your most amazing individuals in life. Presently there is an administrative team that loves the kids insurmountably. I refer to love as a VERB. There are teachers who literally pour into the kids as if they are their own. None of which is visible from driving down Old Brook Road, which many do and never get to understand why we are the Joy and Pride of North Side. Giants have walked those halls and the rhetoric sometimes becomes nauseating from those who have never once invested in finding out why John Marshall High School is a North Side gem.

Recently basketball has been a hot topic. People criticize winning as if a crime has been committed. “They shouldn’t win by so many points, they shouldn’t press, they should be in a higher class (category).” I really ask you to think long and hard about that commentary.

John Marshall High School basketball didn’t just get good; it’s been good for years and years, and recently with Coach Ty White leading the team, state championships have been won. How does he get these players? How is this program so successful? Oh, I’m sorry he does this, he does that and for me it just becomes Charlie Brown talk.

They win because they get their behinds in the gym every chance they can and they work hard on and off the court. Before school, weekends, etc. Let us not forget they are scholars with some of the top GPAs as well. They win because they have the heart of lions. They win because they won’t settle for anything less. They win because greatness is expected from them and desired by them.

Now class is often discussed. Can you possibly tell me that you do not think Coach White does not want to be in a higher class? Seriously? Please pause before answering. With 474 kids in a school, how is that possible? He cannot compete beyond the parameters set in place and this is why he chooses games outside of the district to compete in. Oh, they win those too, in case you’re curious. If there was a way to move up, trust me, he is 10 steps ahead of the process.

And my beloved girls’ basketball team, without question work so hard that when they play they leave in all on the floor. They condition, they practice hard daily and nothing in girls’ basketball is handed to you. I do mean nothing. Most of the times there is barely anyone in the stands. They train and are led by Coach Virgil Burton who absolutely loves and adores them. Not only is he a school resource officer, he is a Richmond police officer, a dedicated father and a husband, yet he sacrifices his life professionally and time personally on a daily basis. Not to mention both teams have dedicated, caring and amazing assistant coaches as well that push these athletes to be their very best.

The goal is to get them to the next level for free and show them that nothing will be handed to them. Who wouldn’t want these characteristics for coaches?

Together, John Marshall has created a BUZZ, to say the least. Remember, these are children who want to receive a level of success that comes with a lot of critics. Let’s choose support over anything. Why don’t we embrace John Marshall High School and all athletics?

You don’t have to be an alumni to recognize success. We are the JOY & PRIDE of North Side!

Anyway, that’s just my 2 cents!


Class of 1996