FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers from the 62nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion charged onto the basketball court at the Abrams Physical Fitness Center on Monday ready to own the night.
Following a quick warm-up, the starters took their positions around the center of the court, squaring up against the soldiers of A Company, 589th Brigade Support Battalion for their tenth intramural game this season.
This game, hosted by the Abrams Physical Fitness Center, would prove to be a test of their strength not as individuals, but as a team.
“We’ve got a lot of camaraderie, a lot of heart out here,” said Spc. Nicholas, C Co., 62nd ESB. “We come out here and play hard.”
Pfc. Brejuan Maddox, a satellite communication systems operator maintainer in C Co., 62nd ESB, wearing number 15, threw himself into the fray, fighting ferociously to gain an early lead.
His efforts were quickly undone as tempers flared within the first quarter following what they thought were a few unfavorable calls from the referees, causing the 62nd ESB to lose their composure, and with it, their hard earned foothold.
The stigma of their setback hung about their necks throughout the first half, and the team entered the second half trailing 29-42.
Sgt. Robert Sargent, a multi-channel transmissions system supervisor in C Company, 62nd ESB and the team’s coach, knew how to rally his players.
His intensity spread throughout the team, and the 62nd ESB took the court for the second half with fire in their eyes.
The team spent the next 15 minutes grinding through their opponents defense with purpose and determination, yet despite their best efforts they were still behind.
With only a minute left, the scoreboard flashed 49-50, and the 62nd ESB stood on the verge of victory.
The crowd screamed, the bench roared, and coach Sargent paced the sidelines with his eyes racing back and forth between the action on the court and the dwindling clock.
The players sprinted up and down the court and flurry of shots went up, but with seconds on the clock, the 62nd ESB lost possession of the ball.
The final score read 52-55, 589th BSB.
Coach Sargent gathered his soldiers on the side of the court after the upset.
“The first half we played bad,” Sargent admitted, pausing to let his words sink in. “I meant that. But when we played hard, what happened? We came to finish.”
Following the coach’s words, the team relaxed, recovering from their intense push for a win. The players began to laugh over some of the howls that were coming from the bench.
“I enjoy playing the sport,” said Pfc. Tyler Adams, a multi-channel transmission systems operator maintainer in C Co., 62nd ESB, accompanied by a lively grin. “Sometimes I let the passion get the best of me. I try not to, but it’s hard to contain.”
Slowly the team begins to shuffle out to the parking lot, already discussing their upcoming game this Friday at 6 p.m.
“It’s showing that we’re getting better cohesion within the unit, a lot of people are understanding each other,” said Adams. “We know how a certain person works so we can get them going so we can contribute to that and keep everybody motivated.”
Adams reflects upon the game as the next two teams begin their warm-up.
“It’s the same way in basketball. Once somebody gets hot, somebody feels a certain way, they may not want to be bothered but we come together and try and lift them up,” Adams said with conviction. “It was the same way with this; we had a marvelous second half. Whether you win or lose, you’ve got to come back with a fresh attitude.”