TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) - Last year was history making for the Saint John Paul II boys basketball team, and reaching the pinnacle of high school athletics has only fueled this year's team even more.
"We're really confident. The last couple games we've been clicking and started playing together," said senior Patrick Copenhaver. "We're playing some of our best basketball now so we're excited."
For Copenhaver, he's been here for the long haul. A four year varsity player, he's been a part of every milestone along the way.
"Before I came here, we were under .500 and then my freshman year we made it over .500 and it's been up and up since then," he said.
"We had a couple kids that bought into the program, and so right now that's where we are again just trying to get kids to buy in to this program," said Athletic Director Ed Hill. "Pat's one of those kids. He bought into this program early on and he still believes in this program. Therefore he pushes and he pushes the rest of the kids to buy into this program."
That drive carries over into the classroom. Copenhaver has a 3.8 GPA.
"There's something after high school with college and stuff and wanting to get to college and not spend a lot of money is why I've kept it up," he said.
"He's a kid we always want to point towards, just basically leading by example," added Hill. "Kid busts his butt on the court, but he always does in the classroom as well."
Leading by example all the way back to State.
"I'm the only one who's been a four year varsity player," said Copenhaver. "Bring them along with me and welcome new people to the family we have here and teach them what it's like to be here and be like a brother to all of them."
A family that looks to add a little more history to Panther boys basketball.