Carlisle head basketball coach Andre Anderson, fresh off his Thundering Herd’s 65-60 loss to Pine-Richland in the PIAA Class 6A semifinals Tuesday night, took to social media to express his feelings and gratitude.
The Herd (21-9) reached the state semis for the first time since the 1988 team won a fourth straight PIAA championship.
And the boys showed tremendous fight, especially over their last two games, erasing an 11-point, fourth-quarter deficit in the quarterfinals to eventually stun Emmaus 78-74 in double overtime, then eating into a 16-point deficit with 2:18 left Tuesday night, slicing it all the way down to three points in the closing moments before the 28-1 Rams ultimately prevailed.
The team featured eight seniors, including four-year starter Deshawn Millington. The other seniors were Ben Milligan, Nate Barnes, Ethan Houston, Matt Brown, Armel Cleary, Jack Smith and Julius Gibson.
With Anderson’s permission, we’re running his message to friends, family and fans. It’s been edited to fit print.
I just want to congratulate you all on a fantastic year! I’m just as frustrated/upset as all of you that things didn’t work out the way we wanted them to. I know, it sucks. But at the end of the day you should all be proud of what you were able to accomplish!
There’s not another group of young men that I would ever want to go to battle with! I mean that 100 percent. Hold your heads high and continue to have each other’s back! That’s what family is all about!
Seniors, I wish you the best of luck moving forward! You’ve truly been great and are a big part of the reason that we, as coaches, do what we do! You were able to build your OWN legacy in a town that eats, sleeps and breathes basketball! That’s a very special thing to accomplish!
Things will not be the same without you guys, and it’s tough to even think about that without shedding a tear! You all have so much potential, and I can’t wait to see what your futures hold! You’ll always be remembered as that bunch that refused to give up and always fought to the end! I’m truly blessed to have coached a group like this!
Now for the rest of you guys, it’s as simple as this: The future is now. Who’s gonna put in the work in the offseason to get better? Who’s gonna step up to be a leader of this next group? Who’s going to make sure that we get back to states?
I’ve heard several people say that they don’t believe that we have what it takes to be successful next year. But, you know what, ALWAYS remember this: It’s not about what others believe to begin with; it’s about what we believe! When you have 15 players and five coaches that “believe” powerful things can happen! Mark my word, WE WILL BE BACK!
Short and sweet, I love you guys. Couldn’t do it without you guys. Wouldn’t do it without you guys. Thank you all for your time put in and your genuine commitment to excellence! Not many other staffs have the bond that we do! I’m proud to say that We are one, and it shows!
First to my wife, Sofia Anderson, I want to say thank you for the support you’ve given me and all you do for our family! Without you, there would be no Coach Anderson, that’s just facts. Marty Anderson, Sue Anderson and Casey Rayborn, thanks for the support. I love you guys, and I’m just happy I was able to share some of the life lessons I’ve learned from you guys with the team! I pride myself in coaching “LIFE” and not just basketball! I strongly believe this is one of the reasons that we are who we are on and off the court.
As for the town of CARLISLE, it’s such a beautiful thing to see a community come together the way we did. (And all because of 15 kids, five coaches and a little orange ball!) As the leader of this program, I want to say thanks to all who genuinely took a POSITIVE interest in our team from Day 1! You all know who you are!
When you have great fans and a great following, it makes all the difference in the world during a long, emotional season, and especially during those tight games! Nothing better than fighting back from a 16-point deficit and hearing our Carlisle faithful chant “We are ... CARLISLE. We are ... CARLISLE!!!” It’s a feeling that no one else outside of our community would understand! You guys are the best!
I thank you all for everything you’ve done for the Carlisle basketball program, and although we’re not headed to Hershey this Saturday, this will still go down as one of the greatest seasons in Carlisle history!
~ Coach Anderson