Brotherhood formed by years of playing together

By Caleb Rogers
Staff Writer
The Round Table
Northern High School

Editor’s Note: This story appeared originally in The Round Table, the school newspaper of Northern High School, which is led by journalism teacher William Schrader. The Durham VOICE is proud to serve as a mentoring partner to The Round Table.

Throughout high school, most students have groups of friends whom they keep in touch with almost every day of their high school lives.

This connection could be anything from one distinctive friend to a huge group where everyone always has a good time.

A band of brothers, NHS seniors, left to right, Cody Leovic, Sam Murray, Matt Ostrowski, Terry Rogers, Jarian Mitchell and Garrett Dorfman. (Photo courtesy of The Round Table)

At Northern, the men’s basketball team has formed a family since many of the athletes have been playing together for more than five years.

Seniors Garrett Dorfman and Matt Ostrowski have been playing together ever since their seventh grade year at Carrington Middle School.

Seniors Sam Murray, Cody Leovic and Jarian Mitchell joined them on the CMS team in their 8th grade year.

“The first year [together] at Carrington was a lot of fun,” said Murray. “Not all of us were really close friends when the season started but as the season went on, we started hanging out a lot.”

“We ended up having a great year, and all of our friendships really started that season,” he said.
Chris Wagner, their coach at CMS, is very proud of them individually and as a group.

“It’s awesome, I wish I had more groups that played together [this long],” Wagner said. “You can see from their success that they have played together forever.”

“They help each others’ strengths and weaknesses, and they are really close off of the court,” the coach said.
After building friendship on the Carrington basketball team, everyone moved on to high school.  All of these seniors, except for Mitchell, happened to attend Northern and play JV basketball their freshman year.

That freshman year, everyone was introduced to Terry Rogers, who would eventually play the point guard position for the next four years.

Their sophomore year, Mitchell returned, and the brotherhood was cemented.

All of the seniors on the team agree they would not take anything in place of what they have been through over the years.

“It’s been the best experience of my life,” Mitchell said. “The chemistry that we have makes us good as a team and makes basketball more fun to play.”

“If we had the chance to play in college together, I think all of us would.”

The unique aspect about the team is how much they are involved in each other’s lives off the court.

“[It’s great] just knowing that for those couple months of the year, you know you’re going to hang out and play ball with your boys every day after school,” Dorfman said.

Some players are feeling hesitant to take the next step in life.

“While I’m excited for next year, it is going to be a lot different playing with new people because for the last five years I’ve only played with these guys,” Murray said.

Others players said they are going to have a hard time transitioning to a life without their best friends.

“It’s going to be hard walking away from this team,” said Leovic.

“Hopefully, we will still get together and play but nothing can compare to us playing on a team together,” he said.

Some of the players think the bond formed goes far deeper than sports.

“Playing basketball for so long and being so involved during the season turns your team mates into a second family,” Ostrowski said.

Ostrowski is not the only player with this stance.

“It has been a great experience for me playing with the same guys all four years,” Rogers said.  “It feels like we are a family and we treat each other like we are all brothers.”

Even though these seniors’ last season as a basketball team is winding down, it will not be the end of the brotherhood.  These guys are too close to one another to drop everything because their last basketball season is over.

So, even though one chapter of their lives is ending, surely a new one will soon begin.