BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — As the school year winds down for students across Western New York, we’re taking the time to look back and highlight some special senior athletes before they head into the next chapter of their lives.
Holland senior Jonathan Nellis put together an outstanding senior season on the Dutchmen basketball team. The team went 16-7, and won the ECIC 4 league for the first time in school history. The Dutchmen continued making school history throughout the postseason, as they advanced to the Section VI Class C championship game for the first time ever.
“It was the best. Our modified year, when our group was together, we went undefeated. We kept on saying, when we hit our senior year, that’s going to be our year,” Holland basketball senior Jonathan Nellis said. “We’re going to finally win the section. We came up three points short. In our school, we don’t have a basketball banner for anything, because we’ve never won anything in basketball. We just wanted that 2019-20 banner on the wall, that’s all we wanted.”
In his senior season, Jonathan led the team in scoring with 306 points, averaging 13.3 points per game, as well as a team high 52 steals, and earned First Team All-ECIC in Class C2.
“No one’s really gotten first team in a long time in our league, and it was pretty cool to get that. I always wanted that,” Nellis said. “My brother got honorable mention two years ago, so it was really cool because I always wanted to one-up him, so I got first team and he got honorable mention. That was really cool.”
“That’s what I really wanted, at the beginning of the year. I was average last year, I averaged six points per game, I wasn’t anything special, so it was really cool to get that first team. I never thought that I was going to get first team, I always thought I would never be anywhere close, so it was cool to get what I actually really wanted.”
Eight seniors were on the 2019-20 Dutchmen, and in their time on the team, they helped Holland advance further through the playoffs year after year.
“It was really cool to play with these guys and to really make it all the way there with them,” Nellis said. “Holland had never been to the Sectional Final before, so it was really cool to just experience it with all my friends.”
“We were, record wise, the best group to ever go through Holland, [the underclassmen] definitely have some shoes to fill,” Nellis said. “I don’t know if we’ll ever have a team with the talent we had, though. We had seven guys that could start. We had seven guys that could play any time. They’ll probably get close because they’ve got talent, but we went really far. I’m surprised we went that far.”