Marian CCHS Feeder Program Nets Girls Basketball Players
By Megan Peterson, Features/Multimedia Editor
April 27, 2023
WOODSTOCK—“Champion athletes aren’t just born — they’re selected, trained, molded and tested,” reads the introduction on the Marian Central Catholic Girls Feeder Basketball website. 
But if that athletic selection and training only begins in high school, when incoming freshmen face more activities to choose from, more homework and more tuition fees, the daunting prospect of playing for a private school can lead to dwindling team numbers. 
The girls basketball feeder program for Marian Central Catholic High School is “shooting” to meet that challenge by welcoming girls to high school basketball early. 
The feeder program invites girls in fifth through eighth grade to learn basketball fundamentals, work as a team with their future classmates and meet Marian CCHS’s girls basketball coaches: head varsity coach Lee Brown, junior varsity coach Nick Wake and assistant coach Ben Bordeaux. 
Participants typically come from parish schools including St. Margaret Mary School, Algonquin; SS. Peter and Paul School, Cary; St. Thomas the Apostle School, Crystal Lake; Montini Middle School, McHenry; and St. Mary School, Woodstock, but all students in the upper grades who are considering Marian CCHS are welcome. 
Players have the opportunity to compete during fall and spring seasons, practice two to three times per week at Marian CCHS, depending on the school’s athletic schedule, and play against other area feeder teams in frequent games. 
This spring, the program is competing in 10 games through the (West) Dundee-Crown Feeder League and eight to 12 games through the McHenry Feeder League. Dundee-Crown games are weekly on Saturdays and an end-of-season tournament is scheduled for May 13. 
That end-of-season tournament will give participants a taste of future victories in high school, the program’s volunteers hope. Spurred on by the success of Marian CCHS’s girls basketball team this year — which has made school history with 25 wins and won its first regional title since 2020 — the program’s ultimate goal is shaping a varsity team that is “contending for a state title year after year,” according to its website. 
Of course, it’s not just about winning, although that might be the goal. The feeder program helps each participant improve her work ethic and build friendship and trust with her fellow teammates — takeaways that will help in classes and high school life, when former grade-school rivals end up “on the same team” in more ways than one. 
The program’s volunteer coaches, who are all members of local parishes, bring their faith to their teams by starting games with prayer (see box). Volunteers include fifth- and sixth-grade coaches Ben Bordeaux, Angie Schneck and Father Jhakson Garcia, parochial vicar at Church of Holy Apostles, McHenry; seventh-grade coaches Brendan Costello and Jeremy Leitzen; and eighth-grade coaches Larry Ferrarini, Josh Nocci and Chuck Henkel. 
The feeder program has grown to 29 girls who are planning to attend Marian CCHS, up from 10 girls just two years ago. A boys feeder program is in the works. Anyone who looking for more information on the next fall season should visit 
—Information provided by Larry Ferrarini and Marian Central Catholic High School.
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