Athletes. Students. Believers.

The term "student athlete" is not an oxymoron at Milo Academy. The boys' varsity basketball team not only has good athletes, but is also loaded with academic talent. Nine of the 11 players are on the honor roll. The cumulative GPA for the team is 3.5844 and three of the team members are 4.0 students. Three team members ranked No. 1 academically in their class. Besides this, seven of the team members are in the top 25 percent of their class.

The character of the team goes well beyond high academics and 14 to five winnings versus losses. It's their belief in one another and God. Two events from the season exemplify and define the team's character.

Early in the season there was a Friday night vespers program that touched a number of students in a very emotional way. One of those students was Doug Barahona, a recent transfer. The message of the evening combined with his personal choices and the unconditional acceptance he received from students and staff at Milo set the stage for a decision for Christ. Teachers, classmates and teammates circled around Barahona in support and unashamedly cried with him at the joy of his decision.

In a game prior to the Walla Walla University Friendship tournament, team member Matt Fillman sprained his ankle severely. This was a loss to the team, and, more importantly, to the player himself. As a senior, this would be his last tournament and it was his dream to play well at the tournament. So the team gathered outside the bus, formed a circle, knelt on the wet grass and prayed for a miracle from God.

As the tournament began, Fillman limped on to the court, ankle taped, air-cast in place. What happened over the next four games was truly a miracle. At each game, Fillman was able to play his normal minutes, contribute points, and provide vital teamwork. The Mustangs thank God for His intervention.

The team's high level of academics and belief in God are the most important examples of how things are right with athletics at Milo.

May 01, 2009 / Oregon Conference