The Father Judge senior has been a long time admirer of the school and its team. Now he’s a leader of the same team.
Tom Quarry was watching everything they did on the court, and paid just as much attention to what they did off the court.
Last year, when Quarry was a junior on the Father Judge High School basketball team, he very much admired the way the three senior leaders on the team — Marc Rodriguez, Mike Power and Matt O’Connor — conducted themselves.
Sure, he loved the way they filled the scorebook, but it was little things they did he respected the most.
“I don’t think you could have three guys do more for a team or really the community, the Father Judge community,” said Quarry, who spent much of the time on the bench nursing a broken wrist. “Those guys were really my idols. They really went out there and did whatever they could to make the team better. You have to love guys like that.”
Quarry is no longer an admirer.
Now, he’s the guy others look up to.
Quarry is the starting shooting guard on the Crusaders, and after a strong summer on the AAU circuit, he’s now the leader of the Judge basketball team. And it didn’t take him long to establish himself in the Crusader record books.
In Judge’s second game of the season, Quarry scored 34 points in a win over Pope John Paul II. The mark matched a school record for points in one game. Last year, Rodriguez scored 34, tying the record Jim Halpin achieved in 1962 and Mike Krawczyk did twice in 1968, according to Tedsilary.com
“It was great, but I didn’t do it, it was because my teammates got me the ball in places where I could score and Coach (Sean Tait) draws up great plays,” Quarry said. “I remember last year when Marc did it, we were in a teacher’s lounge at West Catholic and everyone was telling him how great he was, and he was because he scored 12 straight points to win the game. All he would say was ‘great team win.’ If Marc isn’t bigger than the team, there’s no way I’m bigger than the team.”
But now he has the Rodriguez role on the team.
Quarry is the team’s top option on offense, and he’s the guy who wants to be the leader of the team.
“It’s such an honor to be one of the guys on the team who leads the team,” Quarry said. “Doing that at Father Judge is such an honor. My dad graduated from here and he told me before I got here how special it was. It’s definitely everything he told me it was.
“I just think of how the older guys here influenced me, and if I can have the same influence on the younger guys, that would be great. I know you can make a huge difference.”
Quarry is growing into his role as a team leader, and he also is growing into being one of the top scoring options in the Catholic League on a team that is 3–0 early on.
Last year, while he had the skills to play shooting guard, he saw more time inside because that’s what the team needed. Now that he’s in his natural position, he has the ability, the experience and, more than anything, the will to succeed.
“Last year when I was hurt, I was still a part of the team, but I wasn’t able to play and that was hard because we were doing so well,” Quarry said. “I don’t think anyone has the hunger I have because I know what it’s like not to play. I think that’s how I realized how important playing for Judge was to me.”
He still has an entire season ahead of him, but he also knows what he’ll be doing beyond high school.
Quarry has already accepted an offer to play at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The plan is to study math while piling up huge numbers on the court.
“I’m really happy I’m done with that and I know what I’m going to do,” said Quarry, who is a National Merit scholar and a winner of the Neumann Scholarship, given to a student for outstanding academic performance in grade school. “There’s enough pressure with just basketball and school. I know a lot of people who are worried about that and I don’t have to.
“I loved the school for the academics and I really wanted to keep playing basketball. I’m happy with it for everything.”
Before he takes off the baby blue jersey for the last time, he wants to make his mark on the program.
Obviously, with the loss of great players to graduation, there is a lot of work to do, but he thinks his team is ready to take a big step.
“I know we’re going to miss (Rodriguez, O’Connor and Power) but they left us in good shape, they were great for us,” Quarry said. “There’s a lot of good players here. We have everything you need.
“A lot of it is on me, I have to be a good leader, because there are good players. We just have to make sure we play as hard as possible. That’s how we can win.”