American Leadership Academy’s senior basketball captains, Norman Rentschler and Jonah Larsen took their team by the horns and demanded excellence, hard-work, commitment and loyalty, and it paid off.
They inspired, lifted up, set the example, ran practices and showed a love for everyone in the program that is unprecedented.
Because of their leadership the team was awarded many firsts for American Leadership Academy basketball: First winning season in school history (15 years), most wins in school history; best record in school history; first round state playoff bye for the first time in school history; runner-up for regional champs (losing a close game to Manti High School, who ended up winning state).
ALA also developed for the first time in school history the number one rebounder (Jake Negus) and shot blocker (Colton Davis) in the state of Utah for all divisions; helping the team earn a bye in the first round of state playoffs for the first time ever.
Norman Rentschler was arguably the best defender in state, leading the region in steals (6.0). He also had more than 15 points per game, and led in assist with six assists per game.
Jonah Larsen was the best regional player and scorer behind the number one scorer in the state of Utah, Derek Smith. Jonah was only second in three’s and scoring to Derek. Safe to say he is a close second for MVP in region.
Bryant Farr was the sixth man of the year and led the region in charges taken.
Marcus Kemp contributed as a starter in scoring and getting steals.
What started as a season up in the air turned out to be unforgettable.
The players, student body, fans, and administration may not remember the record of 9-3 (region) or 13-9 (overall), but they will remember storming the court against Delta, Juab (twice), Union (twice), Maeser (twice), and North Sanpete (twice).
There may not be a game like beating Juab at their place in triple overtime or Delta at home.
So many good memories and feelings to share.
American Leadership Academy will be sad to lose the amazing seniors who have changed the culture of ALA. Now everyone who puts on the ALA jersey has a lot more to play for and expectations have been set high.
The younger class is proud, excited, and anxious to play for their older brothers who sweat, bled, and cried often with those uniforms on.
In the locker room after their last game the upcoming class mentioned how they want to win state the following year for their graduating class; they meant that much to each other. They loved each other like family and brothers.
Jonah Larsen said, “We will stay in touch for the rest of our lives attending weddings, reunions, birthday parties and funerals,” said Jonah Larsen.
Next year’s captains, senior Colton Davis and Bryant Farr are excited about the big shoes to fill and are looking forward to avenging the state second round loss and going all the way.
Other juniors expected to return for their senior year are Andrew Rentschler, Tate Strasburg, and Jason Messerly.
TeamCoach: David Reichner