Barely two weeks into the season, the Suitland High School boys basketball has been forced to bid adieu to its senior leader.
Roddy Peters played his final high school game on Thursday and the Rams lost, 75-66, to visiting Eleanor Roosevelt.
After earning first team All-Gazette honors last season, Peters tore his labrum in his left shoulder during the summer.
But the University of Maryland, College Park recruit and his family decided he would look ahead and begin rehabilitating for his approaching collegiate career.
“I hurt it in the middle of the summer, but I didn't know I hurt it,” Peters said. “Toward the end of the summer it started hurting more and more. And I hurt it more now so I have to get surgery.”
Peters said doctors told him his recovery would take six months. In six months, Peters will have already walked across the stage with his high school diploma.
Rams coach George McClure coached Peters all three seasons he attended Suitland. After the game, McClure made an announcement with a microphone in the gym thanking Peters for his time spent with the program.
“We've been preparing for it,” McClure said. “We knew before the season started that [surgery] was going to happen. You can only prepare so much because you still have to prepare for the game. But now a whole new process begins and we have to move forward.”
Peters had a game-high 24 points in the defeat as the Raiders defense — which sometimes involved double teams on Peters before the ball was in bounds — wore the Rams down.
At halftime the Raiders trailed 34-29. Coach Brendan O'Connell was not pleased with his team's effort and berated his players during the intermission.
Hearing the disappointment in O'Connell, the Raiders responded in the second half.
“I just thought we fought in the second half and played with a little more intensity,” O'Connell said. “You miss the familiar faces like [Chaun Miller], but we had four guys that played significant minutes last year.”
Part of the reason the Raiders (6-0) are perfect on the season is because their top five scorers from last season have returned, including Tiwian Kendley, who had a team-high 20 points.
Raiders guard Trevor Evans had 15 points and connected with Kendley on an alley-oop pass when his team was in the midst of a 9-3 run that helped the Raiders get breathing room and build a 60-55 lead. They would not relinquish it.
“Without our scorers, I don't know where we would be as a team,” Kendley said.
Meanwhile, as the Raiders attempt to defend their Class 4A South Region title, the Rams will have to find ways to win without their best player.
Peters said he will remain on the Rams' (3-3) sideline for the duration of the season as a spectator.
“Roddy's loyalty has been off the charts as far as Suitland High School goes,” McClure said. “He played for us his 10th and 11th grade years. He hurt his shoulder and wanted to come back. He said that he wanted to play the first six games and he's earned that right with all of the positive attention he has brought to the school.”