JV Boys Basketball Set the Paint on Fire


Jennifer Mayo

The Boys JV Basketball team continues their winning streak into this week’s games.

Ethan Dean, Staff Writer

Bel Air’s JV Boys Basketball team is soaring high, entering their next game with just one loss and preparing to continue their hot streak in 2023.  

Junior Varsity is coached by Brandon Mayo, who is assisted by Jacob Vasquez. When asked a few questions about the team’s performance and his personal success, Mayo and Vasquez had this to say.  

 Have you ever coached before? If so, what is your experience? 

Mayo: I’ve been coaching at Bel Air since the 2011-12 season, so this is my 11th season (we had the 2020-21 season canceled due to COVID).  This is my third season as the JV Head Coach.  Prior to that, I was an assistant for both the JV and Varsity teams.  I also played for Bel Air from 2002-2006 while I was in high school. 

Vasquez: This is my third year coaching at Bel Air and have enjoyed every minute of it. I love the competitive nature of our JV boys and appreciate their focus on getting better every day. The student athletes have connected with me on a deeper level than basketball, which to me is more than sport. My experience here has been an amazing journey so far, as I feel that I am growing and learning each day as a coach.  

How is the team’s performance overall? 

Mayo: Overall, very pleased with our progress so far.  Ten of the 15 players on our roster had no high school experience prior to the start of the season, so we’re still learning and improving each day.  I thought pre-season that the December schedule may be our toughest stretch, so to come away with a 7-1-1 record is a tremendous start. We’ve been very good defensively, that’s our strength.  Offensively, our versatility is very tough for our opponents to match up against. 

Vasquez: The JV team has a history of being one the best in the county each year. Dating back to the days I played here at Bel Air, our JV record was 17-3 for multiple seasons. Last year our record was 16-3. This year our goal was to improve our record by winning at least 17 games. We always hold our JV team to high standards to prepare them for Varsity. 

What is your main focus when coaching? 

Mayo: Holistically, I think the main job of the JV coach is to (1) Teach the game and improve player’s basketball IQ, (2) Develop player’s skills for Varsity level competition and (3) Win games.  My main focus on a day-to-day basis is to drill our style of play and build confidence and camaraderie into every player.  I like to describe our style as smart, tough and aggressive and we have metrics for each of those elements. 

Vasquez: We will work on skills throughout practice, but it is more on a deeper level. My main focus is to build relationships with my student athletes – I want them to know that I am not only their coach but their mentor, someone they can turn to if they need help. Once I build rapport with my student athletes, everything seems much easier. Our job as JV coaches is to shape these players and prepare them for Varsity and the real world. I like to see myself as their leader, someone who leads by example and shows them the way, not just by telling them but showing them.  

 Any final quote you want to give? 

Mayo: I think we play a very fun, fast and entertaining style of basketball.  I would love to see more students come out and support our guys and really create a home court advantage.  The program isn’t just about the players and coaches this year, it’s about the entire school community coming together and competing at the highest level possible. 

Vasquez: There is no other school that I’d rather be. While I am here, I will give it my all to make a positive impact on this basketball program. 

This season, the boys have only lost once, with one tie against Fallston, 36-36. The team feels they are meshing well together, with Sophomore Cooper Rey saying they “work hard in practice so that when we play other teams we know they will have a tough time competing with us.” Sophomore Connor McPherson also feels that “this team is special because we feel like a family and play like one whole team,” something the team prides themselves in.  

The team continued their hot streak this past Friday against North East with yet another win. Come out and support the team this season while their wins continue!