Boys’ coach commemorated in HOF

Kate Shambo, staff writer

Bright white lights illuminate the basketball court as the buzzer sounds. Students cheer, and South is headed to sectionals.

Phillip Ralston, varsity boys’ basketball Head Coach, has been coaching for 23 years; five of those years at South. Before South, Ralston coached at Geneva High School for nine years, Grant High School for 11 years, Trinity International University for one year, and Deerfield High School for one year. Additionally, Ralson was named ‘Coach of the Year’ 10 times (six of them by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association). 

The success of his teams is evident, Ralston noted. Last year, the team finished fourth in their conference, according to This year, the team made it to sectional semi-finals. 

“I have been blessed with coaching a lot of players that have had a lot of success, but it all goes back to the players and my assistant coaches that worked alongside me,” Ralston said. 

Junior Nate Kasher, point guard, played basketball at South for the past three years.

“The past couple of years we have done really well,” Kasher said. “I think we have lost [about] six games and won about thirty games [each year] under Coach Ralston. We have been doing really well.” 

Although wins and losses are important, basketball has always been more than a game to Ralston. Basketball is a highly physical sport and an incredibly mental game It includes many different players working together as a team, Ralston said. 

“It is a very complex game of chess when you are dealing with five players attacking another five players,” Ralston said. “There is no wrong way to play in a game of basketball, just who is going to impose their will upon the other. Personally, I like to believe we do a much better job of imposing our will.” 

Athletic Director Tom Mietus emphasized that although winning is great, it is not the main achievement. 

“Do not get me wrong,” Mietus said. “I love winning and I want to win; I want to be competitive, but it is not just about that. [It is] when you do the little things right [that] winning happens.” 

As the season ended, Ralston shared optimistic encouragement for the students and staff continuing to support South’s basketball program. 

“I would not trade it for anything,” Ralston said. “You can trade the wins and the losses, the championships, but to have the opportunity to form great relationships is something that I cherish more than any of the other things.”