The basketball games in the backyard between the Peters kids in Cuyahoga Falls and Medina took on a life of their own.
Proud papas, Jay and Jody Peters, and their wives, Dawn and Karen, have fond memories of watching their children playing two-on-two games.
And they have heard more stories about other games they didn’t see.
“We typically only would see them when one would get mad,” Jay said with a laugh. “They had so much fun playing then, and still do now.”
All that basketball has developed three of the seven children into integral parts of a Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy boys basketball team that has won a school-record 15 games in a row and has an 18-2 record, 12-1 in the PAC-7.
“It is all basketball, all the time,” said 6-foot-2 senior guard Bob Peters, who has led the Royals to the No. 1 seed in the Division II sectional/district at Stow.
Bob Peters, 18, averages 24.1 points per game. He joins his brother, Michael, 16, and cousin, Luke, 16, in the Royals’ starting lineup.
Nate, 15, the younger brother of Bob and Michael, is a freshman on the junior varsity. Their father, Jay, is the varsity coach.
“For me, I can’t describe anything better,” Jay said. “To get to come to the gym every day is fun. Basketball has been a part of all of our lives. My dad [Bob] was a coach and my mom [Jane] is a big fan. My brother [Jody] and I used to go to games when we were kids. My brother coached at Medina. His kids would go to the gym all the time and so did my kids. To get to go every day and to be a part of these guys’ lives, I consider myself extremely fortunate.”
Jody, 50, and Jay, 47, were solid players at Medina and in college. They both enjoy passing on their knowledge to the next generation of Peters.
Jody’s children, Tyler, Zach and Ally, are in college and Luke is in high school. Jay’s three kids are all in high school.
“This has been one of the best experiences of my life,” said Michael, a 5-foot-11 sophomore guard who averages 9.4 points per game. “I love playing with Bob and I love playing with Luke because they are just really fun to be with. I played with them in the backyard countless times. It is such a cool experience to go out there with them on the basketball floor and get to compete with them.”
Luke, a 6-foot-2 sophomore guard who averages 4.9 points per game, said the backyard games go back to first grade.
“It is a real blessing to play with Mike, Bob and Nate,” Luke said. “Playing for my uncle is pretty awesome. My dad was the coach at Medina for a long time. To play with these guys is awesome. We have grown up together and they are basically like my brothers.”
Bob, an Indiana Wesleyan University recruit, is CVCA’s all-time leading scorer with 1,516 points. He was Division II All-Ohio Special Mention in 2012 and a Division III All-Ohio Honorable Mention in 2011. He earned all-district honors both seasons.
“My dad pushes us all, but I think he pushes me a little bit extra,” Bob said. “Playing for my dad and playing with Mike, Luke and Nate is an experience I would not trade for anything.”
CVCA lost to East, the eventual district champion, last year in a Division II district semifinal at Stow and finished 16-7.
The Royals opened this season with wins over Woodridge, Garfield and Tusky Valley. Losses to Walsh Jesuit and Canton Timken followed.
“The week we lost our two games against Walsh in double overtime [56-54] and against Timken [46-41], those hurt because we knew we could win those games,” Bob said. “Just coming in every day and loving to practice and loving to play basketball is key. We love to play basketball with each other and love to make each other better. We have to bear down for the tournament because we know teams are gunning for us because we have won 15 in a row. We just come in every day and work hard.”
CVCA has defeated Manchester, Fairless, Indian Valley, Tusky Valley and Triway twice. The Royals, who host Tuslaw on Friday, also hold wins over Archbishop Hoban, Canton Timken, Dayton Christian, Gilmour Academy, Streetsboro and Tuslaw during the streak.
“Watching the team mature, grow and play has just been fantastic,” Jay said. “We knew we had a good group coming back. Bob is a four-year varsity guy. [Seniors] Alex Punka and Caleb Kleibscheidel are three-year varsity guys [who average about eight points per game and are 6-3 and 6-5, respectively]. We have a lot of experience.”
CVCA finishes the regular season Feb. 22 at Kenmore and opens the postseason on Feb. 26 against Revere at Stow.
“The fact that I love about my sons, Luke and all of the guys on the team is just how hard they play,” Jay said. “We come into practice and we get after it. It is a rare day when I feel like I have to get after people to work hard. It is an internal thing with them and it is their own team expectation. From a coaching standpoint, that is a good thing when the fire comes from within. Every once in awhile, you can throw some gas on it, but you can’t throw gas on it every day because pretty soon you would run out of emotion with both the players and coaches. They are serious about what they want to, and they are loose in a good way and intense in a very good way. They love to compete.”
That competitive nature began with the backyard games.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.