Snip Esterly earns 800th career win as Berks Catholic defeats Daniel Boone in boys high school basketball

Jan. 5—It was a historic Thursday night at Birdsboro for Berks Catholic head coach Snip Esterly.

Esterly earned his 800th career win as the Saints defeated Daniel Boone 69-49 in a Berks II matchup.

“Longevity. It means I’m getting older,” Esterly said on what No. 800 means. “I’ve had some really great teams over the years. All the players you see, and a lot of them came back. That’s why it’s been so special with these guys. Being at Central (Catholic) and Berks Catholic, it’s been fantastic.”

Esterly began his coaching career in 1989 at Central Catholic in Allentown. He coached there for 22 seasons and won the state championship in 2007. He also won eight district titles (1991-92, 1992-93, 1994-95, 1995-96, 1999-2000, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2009-10, 2010-11) over the years at Central.

In his 13th season at Berks Catholic, Esterly has a record of 259-84. He has led the Saints to five district titles (2011-12, 2012-13, 2017-18, 2021-22, 2022-23) and three Berks County championships (2011-12, 2012-13, 2017-18).

Esterly emphasized how much everyone around him has contributed to his success as a coach.

“I have one great wife that has let me do this for so many years. Without that, it could have never happened,” Esterly said. “My co-workers past and present. If they wouldn’t let me get out of work, then I wouldn’t be able to do it. So hats off to them. This would have never ever happened if coach Reggie Weiss hadn’t come over to my house one day and asked me to help him coach. Without that, it would have never happened.”

In what was a closer game than Esterly may have liked for his 800th win, the Saints were able to pull away from the Blazers in the second half of the Berks II matchup.

The Saints (3-0, 8-0) jumped out to an early 16-9 lead to end the first quarter.

After going up double digits to begin the second, it looked like the Saints might run away with the game early but the Blazers (0-4, 5-7) fought back.

While trailing 20-13, Boone’s Brendan Gaines began to catch fire on the offensive end.

Gaines went on to score two baskets in the paint before hitting a deep 3-pointer from the right wing.

He wasn’t done there though, the next possession down the court hitting a pull-up jumper to cut the deficit to 24-20.

The Saints then went on to score six straight points before Gaines hit a deep 3-point buzzer-beater to give the Blazers hope going into halftime trailing 30-23.

However, Berks Catholic looked better on both ends of the court in the second half as they began to pull away.

The Saints’ Parker Nein heated up late in the third quarter as he scored 13 straight points that ended early in the fourth as the lead extended to 53-37.

The Blazers could not mount a comeback as the Saints got their coach his historic win.

After the teams shook hands, the floor got crowded with current and past players, family, and supporters of Esterly.

“It was great,” Esterly said. “It’s great to see them older and with their families and stuff. It’s really neat. That’s what’s great about being able to coach for so many years. You see your ex-players come back with their families It’s great.”

For the Saints, Nein and Joshua McKoy each finished with 22 points. Kingston McKoy had 17 points.

For the Blazers, Gaines finished with a game-high 23 points.

“It’s a good ballclub,” Esterly said of his team. “I like it. We work hard. Last two games we’ve really struggled with our energy. I don’t know why, but we’ll figure it out. We’ll figure it out as a team.”

Thankfully for Berks Catholic, Esterly also mentioned that he would love to coach for at least another four years with no true end in sight.

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