Village Christian boys basketball has enjoyed unprecedented success over
the last five years. On March 23, 2015, the program became even more decorated.
Senior Bennie Boatwright Jr. earned CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA Player
of the Year honors Monday, while fellow senior Clifton Powell Jr. was
named to the All-CIF-SS D-1AA team. Head coach Jon Shaw won Coach of the
Year for the second season in a row.
The USC-bound Boatwright is the first VCS boys basketball player to win
division POY honors. He averaged 28 points, 13 rebounds, three assists,
three steals, and 1.5 blocks this season, joining Khalil Simplis as the
program's first-ever McDonald’s All-American nominees. Boatwright
was also named to the All-CIF-SS D-4A team last season.
Powell averaged 13 points, six rebounds, and three steals per game to help
the Crusaders (29-7) to this year’s title and the program’s
fourth straight CIF State tournament appearance.
Boatwright and Powell join a class of Marquis Salmon (2011-2012; now Utah
Valley University), Bryan Alberts (2011-2012 and 2012-2013; now Gonzaga
University), Marsalis Johnson (2011-2012 and 2012-2013), and Bear Henderson
(2012-2013; now Eastern Washington University), who have won All-CIF-SS honors.
"I'm really proud of each one of our young men, not just in what
we accomplished as a team and program, but who they became in the journey,”
Shaw said. “Any time you win a championship, everyone shares in
those memorable moments and contributes to your success in some way –
our school community, fans, parents, teaching staff, counselors, maintenance,
coaches, administration, donors, and booster club. It's a celebration
that everyone partakes in.”
Shaw, who was named the Division 4A Coach of the Year in 2014 and the Division
5 CIF State Coach of the Year in 2012, now has a record of 130-33 since
taking over the program before the 2010-2011 season.
The Crusaders won their second of back-to-back CIF-SS division titles on
March 7 when they beat Great Oak 79-61 at the Honda Center in the Division
1AA championship game. The win made VCS the first San Fernando Valley
private school to win the D-1AA crown.
“What I will remember most about this team is they truly cared for
each other, wanted to be coached, and always believed they could get to
the top of the mountain to be champions,” Shaw added. “The
laughter, joy, and memories shared on that floor and locker room of the
Honda Center on March 7, 2015, will forever be etched in my mind. What
a special team, special kids, and special moments I will always cherish."
In 2014, the Crusaders beat Windward 71-67 in the D-4A title game, while
in 2012, VCS topped St. Joseph Notre Dame 62-51 to win the CIF State Division
VCS CIF-SS Division POYs Since 2000
2014-2015 – Bennie Boatwright Jr. (boys basketball)
2007-2008 – Rachel Taylor (girls volleyball)
2003-2004 – Jason Christenson (football)
2002-2003 – Lauren Nydem (softball)
2002-2003 – Mike Richards (boys volleyball)
VCS CIF-SS Division COYs Since 2000
2014-2015 – Jon Shaw (boys basketball)
2013-2014 – Jon Shaw (boys basketball)
2007-2008 – Bobby Blanken (girls volleyball)
2003-2004 – Marty Martin (football)
2002-2003 – Jim Stone (softball)
2002-2003 – Bill Schnobrich (boys volleyball)