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Faith Academy boys basketball embraces pressure of success

The Faith Academy of Marble Falls boys basketball team begins the 2023-24 against Boerne Geneva at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. `4 at The Fire Pit on the Faith campus.

The Flames have been practicing after school since Oct. 17 with everyone except senior Cross Sanchez, who was finishing his commitment to the football team.

“He’ll fit right in the lineup,” head coach Zakk Revelle said. “That’s why we did our fall league (at Austin St. Michael’s Academy) and look forward to more success.”

Part of that success is winning the program’s fourth consecutive district title with 12 players who know nothing but achievement. They include returning starters Asher Apel, Gabe Lopez and Judah Phillips. Other returning lettermen are Ben Tatum and Sanchez, who returns to the program after not playing last year.

“He’s back, he’s excited. We’ve had good conversations,” Revelle said. “Ben stuck it out and did the fall stuff. He carved himself a spot on the rotation. We have nine guys to rotate in. It’s a neat deal.”

They include underclassmen Jase Marshall, who transferred from Burnet, and Will Slyker.

“Will is an incredible player and incredible person,” the coach said. “Jase came over, and he hasn’t missed a beat.”

During the offseason, the Flames were on the track at Britton Field thanks to workouts led by assistant coach Cedric Griffin. Assistant coach Malcolm Canada conducted workouts in the gym.

“We spent as much time on the track as we did in the gym and in the weight room,” Revelle said. “Coach Canada led individual workouts. They are eager learners.”

And the Flames went 4-2 at the St. Michael’s fall league with opponents that included Austin San Juan Diego, Austin Regents, Austin Veritas and Austin St. Dominic Savio. Faith’s losses were by a total of nine points.

“We got better every game,” the coach said. “I think this group is very talented, and they have a chance to be really good.”

The Flames begin District 3-3A play Jan. 5 at home against Temple Holy Trinity.

“We want to be moving up and when we get there, getting better,” Revelle said. “Our goals is to get better every day. One-and-o is the mentality at the start of the year. This is the seventh year for me as the varsity coach. When you win as much as we’ve won, it starts to help you. They understand the goals.”

As for winning another district crown, Revelle said that’s not the end-all, be-all focus.

“We don’t necessarily talk about winning district; that’s part of the journey,” he said. “We want to be back in the Final Four (Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools’ state tournament). It’s a goal to do that. Pressure is a privilege. It’s a privilege to be on a team where pressure is involved. Our expectations are very high.”

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