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Kyle Barnes (10) came back from a near-death experience last fall to lead Pacifica Christian to the CIF-Southern Section Division 5AA semifinals where the Seawolves lost to San Gabriel Academy.
Candice Kelsey
Kyle Barnes (10) came back from a near-death experience last fall to lead Pacifica Christian to the CIF-Southern Section Division 5AA semifinals where the Seawolves lost to San Gabriel Academy.

Sports, Santa Monica, Pacifica Christian, Basketbal, Kyle Barnes

A Season's Journey For Pacifica Christian Boys Basketball Team

Pacifica Christian's Kyle Barnes in action.
Candice kelsey
Pacifica Christian's Kyle Barnes in action.

Coach Kevin Kelsey sums up Seawolves' season

Posted Mar. 5, 2014, 7:05 am

Mirror Staff

Kevin Kelsey's Pacifica Christian boys' basketball team struggled throughout the regular season, finishing fifth in the Liberty League. However, the Seawolves made it into the playoffs and came within a game of playing in the CIF Southern Section Division 5AA championship game.

It was a good run after a tough season. The Seawolves pulled off the upset of the year when they defeated Brethern Christian in a quarterfinal game. This season has been quite a journey for Kelsey and the Seawolves, who almost lost one of their own when star Kyle Barnes had to overcome traumatic injuries suffered in the fall from a accident.  

Kelsey talks about the team's season and about the inspiration that Barnes brought to the team

Pacifica Christian boys' basketball coach Kevin Kelsey in his words:

"Early in the season, we lost to fifth ranked Chadwick; I printed out the polls after that game and shoved them in the kids' hands. I wanted them to see that they are capable of being great, but that their youth, inexperience, and lack of consistency could hold them back. 

Shortly thereafter, we beat three top 16 teams, and my boys began to believe that they could be good. My coaches and I were diligent in showing and breaking down game film in order to impress upon them the importance of defense. Our approach can be crystallized down to "defense is the priority in every quarter." We ended up being ranked eleventh in our division (only four other teams played as difficult a schedule as we did).

One highlight this year was the presence of 10 U.S. veterans from the Seawolf (Vietnam) Navy Unit at our Homecoming game! These men are the inspiration for Pacifica's mascot, the Seawolf. They presented a flag, a plaque, and a framed picture of their helicopters to me at halftime, but most importantly they reminded our boys that they were playing for something bigger than just themselves. It was a patriotic and poignant moment.

Losing two of our final three league games just weeks ago ripped our hearts out, but those losses gave the players a bit of a chip on their shoulders and reinforced the need to put each other first at all times. I went into our play off games against No.6 seed Pasadena Poly and No.3 seed Brethren knowing they were stronger teams, but that we only had to beat them one time, and I knew our defense would be difficult for them to figure out. 

Senior starter, Kyle, had to come back from a near death accident on Oct. 31; he was in ICU at UCLA's trauma unit where he had his spleen removed and major facial/dental reconstruction. Two of his doctors happened to be the parents of our junior guard Derek Lorenzo. 

Kyle's Christian faith and love for the game and his team mates propelled his getting back on the court after Christmas. His courage inspired our team. He had the game of his life against Brethren with 11 points and 10 rebounds -- to clinch the biggest win in our school's history."

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Mar. 6, 2014, 12:07:50 pm

tony basilio said...

Congrats Coach Kelsey and team! What a great year you had! We are keeping a watchful eye on you all the way across the country. You all should be commended! Tony Basilio Knoxville, TN

Mar. 8, 2014, 7:21:28 am

Jean Balish said...

As mother-in-law of Kevin Kelsey I am so proud of him and his team and the values and ethics Kevin teaches his students. Go Seawolves!

Mar. 8, 2014, 3:05:18 pm

Bill Rutledge said...

Fantastic Season for the Seawolves that came on late, It was an honor to be asked to attend the homecoming Representing the Navy Hal 3 Seawolves of Vietnam Era, Attending the homecoming and watching the Lady and Boys teams play was AWESOME,

Mar. 9, 2014, 11:28:13 am

Michael Dobson Seawolf Assn Pres said...

It was a true honor to attend the homecoming events in January and meet these fine young men and women. I am impressed by their maturity, education, sportsmanship, and how parents and the teaching staff are preparing these future leaders for life's journey. Coach Kelsey and his staff are to be commended on their superb leadership and the role models they set. The Seawolf basketball season results are icing on the cake. Thank You, young Seawolves, for picking our military group to be your guiding soul ....... you do us PROYD !

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