The Chester High School Clippers boys basketball team is a rallying point for the community and is truly “a fierce burst of pride.” The disciplined practices have produced 7 PIAA Class AAAA Pennsylvania state championships. This “Chester philosophy” is what has made the Chester basketball program revered as the best in the state. According to Larry Yarbray, the current Clippers coach: “It’s an outright travesty what might happen to these kids, and they’re all our kids, not just the kids in this gym playing for the basketball team, kids who we’re supposed to be educating.” Coach Yarbray stresses to the players they need not stress about the Chester Upland School District’s financial woes.
Though the basketball players are aware of the dire financial situation with the school district, they continued to focus on working harder to complete their goal of two-straight state championships. According to Darius Robinson, a junior, the financial circumstances with the school inspires them.
The Chester basketball team continues to do what they do best – play “good, hard defense.” As senior guard Shanier Cottman says, “We practice a lot on our defense. Defense wins games and defense wins championships.”
Though the No. 1 ranked Chester Clippers don’t play in a fancy gymnasium, the community still shows up to support the team that is seen by some as “ ‘The Mecca’ of Pennsylvania basketball.” The team is a source of pride for the city of Chester and motivates the young men of Chester through their journey to a consecutive PIAA title instead of stressing over the circumstances with the school district.