A new journey begins, part IV

O’Shae Fernanders.

A new journey begins, part IV
March 19
10:09 2020

The Mt. Tabor Spartans enjoyed a successful year on the basketball court for the varsity and JV teams. The future looks bright for the Spartans and one of those bright spots is O’Shae Fernanders.

The Chronicle has followed Fernanders throughout his freshman year and now that the season is over, Fernanders sat down to reflect on where we left off with the last article and his season as a whole.

“I feel like I actually lived up to my standards as it comes to scoring, playing defense, applying myself, staying in the gym and being coachable,” said Fernanders. “I just played up to my potential and I think I played up to the expectations.”

Fernanders racked up on accolades and accomplishments this season. He was named to the Lash/Chronicle All-Tournament Team, The Chronicle’s All-County JV First Team, The Chronicle’s JV Player of the Year, and led his team to a 23-1 record overall.

“My dad actually texted it to me, because I was in class and when I saw it, I had this surprised look and I gasped,” he said about being named to The Chronicle’s All County JV First Team and Player of the Year. “I was really happy, but at the same time I have to remain humble and just keep striving for more.”

According to Fernanders, the Spartans JV team overachieved this season, because the expectations were not high going into the year. He feels it was a big accomplishment for the team to do as well as they did.  Their only loss came at the hands of the Dudley Panthers by three points when several of their players, including Fernanders, were out with the flu.

“Everyone thought that we were about to have a mediocre season and the fact that we blew out every team that we played says a lot,” he said. “People really didn’t really believe in us like that, so it just made us raise our game even more.”

Fernanders was moved up to the varsity team during their playoff run. He says he learned what it’s going to take for him to succeed on that level and he knows that he has the ability to do so. The Spartans will be fairly young next season and Fernanders is hoping to make his mark early.

Fernanders had high praise for his teammates and coaches for helping progress his game this season.  

Chad Fernanders, O’Shae’s father, was pleased with how the season turned out for his son. He was not surprised, because he expects his son to perform well.

“Anyone that knows me, knows that I’m always going to set the standards high, because I am always pushing in life, because life is a challenge,” said Mr. Fernanders. “He had a couple games where I felt he got in the back seat on me, but I called him, and we sat down and talked, and he got it back together.

“I like the way he got everyone involved and I always tell him, ‘Even when you’re not scoring, you still have to play basketball.’ The numbers and achievements, not to sound arrogant, but I’m not surprised, because this is what I do it for as far as what I put into him and what he puts into himself. We have more basketball to come and next year it may be a drop depending on what he does this summer.”

Mr. Fernanders was appreciative of all the positive feedback about O’Shea that he has received from others outside of the Mt. Tabor program.  

“I spoke to a lot of them (coaches) and they spoke highly of him; it was a proud father moment and anyone that doesn’t get that feeling is in it for the wrong reasons. I always preach to him that character is everything. You can have the best offensive game, but if you don’t have character, or not a coachable kid, none of that matters.”

The plan for the summer is to continue to hit the weight room and become a stronger player. O’Shae wants to continue working on aspects of his game, because he knows there will be a big step-up in competition on the varsity level.

“We will be working with a capital W,” said Mr. Fernanders. “We have memberships everywhere and he is going to help me also. Coach Big (Kedrick Carpenter, Mt. Tabor JV head coach) has been doing a heck of a job. I just love my village and it takes a village to make it out here in the world.

“Coach Big has been on him heavy as far as keeping him in the weight room. He has him out there working with the football players and in the gym shooting shots. I still have to do my part also, but all in all, he has to want it and do his part first; anything anyone else does is extra.”

Fernanders achieved all of the preseason goals that he set for himself. He says he will set future goals to strive for heading into next season to keep him hungry.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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