Friday, August 4, 2017

Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Welcomes a Bumper Crop of Elite Freshmen

Seth Wilson, Malaki Branham, Tae Perie & Noah Peeples
When the 2017/2018 boys high school basketball season tips off in November, the freshman class at Drew Joyce’s Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (ASVSM) high school program could be the talk of the state.  Having secured a 7th state championship last season, ASVSM is an attractive destination for elite players and continues to be poised for future success. The old adage, “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer” is certainly relevant to what’s about to go down at the storied program in Akron.  Seth Wilson, Malaki Branham, Noah Peeples and Tae Perie, all of whom are listed among Buckeye Preps’ list of the top 10 rising freshmen in the state, will be attending Drew Joyce’s program in the fall.

Although Wilson, Peeples and Perie all reside in northeast Ohio, Branham is a Columbus kid, whom many local high school programs have coveted for a couple of years. In addition, all 4 of these elite players have been perennial all-stars at our Buckeye Prep Elite Showcases, so we know all too well their level of talent.  Based on what we know, and with no disrespect to St. Ed’s 2020 class last year, it’s hard for us to imagine a better high school freshman class (2021) than what’s heading to ASVSM.

In terms of history, whenever multiple stars get together on one team the natural questions always seem center on whether or not there are "enough basketball balls" to go around.  We put that question to Donovan Wilson, Seth Wilson's father and were not surprised at his response. “I’m confident that each one of these players will share the ball. I feel the talent will mesh together, but we’re going to have to go out and work,” stated the elder Wilson.

The second question often centers on playing time and how soon players will make the varsity squad.  “We could have gone somewhere where it would have been a little easier to get on the court, but this program [ASVSM] will help Seth get to the next level,” continued Wilson.  Wilson also has lofty goals for this class over the next couple of years. “This class is tremendous.  They are going to put a lot of points on the board.  We should win a few state championships,” Wilson proclaimed.

We spoke to Coach Dre Joyce regarding his thoughts about the incoming freshmen class and he could not have been more excited with their arrival. “This is one of the most heralded classes in some time; we expect big things from them. It’s always good when you [ASVSM] can get talented players who have been very successful at the middle school and travel team level,” said Joyce.  In terms of their role early at ASVSM, “Where they fit in I don’t know, I have not seen them much, but I believe the transition will be smooth.  We are very talented and deep; it’s going to be a battle to see who plays at the varsity level,” continued Joyce.

Only time will tell how this class turns out at the next level, as success in middles school travel basketball does not always translate at the high school level.  Moreover, players come and go from programs these days, so who’s to say if all 4 players will remain in the program for their entire careers.  With that said, we look forward to following this class and the ASVSM program over the next couple of years.  By the way, you can catch 3 of the 4 players at the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase in September as they will all suit up for the North squad in the prestigious North vs South All-Star Game, then again as Team Ohio takes on Team Michigan in the ultra-competitive Ohio vs Michigan game.


  1. People always wondered, how the maple street machine was always so good. Yes we had talent, but we practice very hard, each and everyday. We worked on fundamentals, and ran drills after practice. We hardly ever had a 2 hr practice, it was like 3 to 4 hrs. Now that's putting in some work. Everybody wants their child too play for the maple street machine, but honestly everyone's child isn't good enough, but they stay for the name and the shoes. Priceless

  2. Me and my brother are graduates of St Vincent-St. Mary's (the Maple Street Machine) and my younger siblings still go there, i am very excited for the future sports there at my high school alma mader because my brother curtis is on the football team, my sister eleanor is in irish dancing, and my cousin mentioned in this article noah peeples is in basketball, I hope that they all excel.

  3. You are right Anonymous (8/9/2017) STVM is the Maple Street Machine, me and my brothers (caleb and curtis) and the whole wrestling team always worked very hard during the practices and the matches, we (the wrestling team) worked super hard even when we can barely breathe, and ended a practice doing 10 sprints back and forth under 10 seconds, the Track and Field team (I was on) we always ran a lot during practices had to run 4 to 6 laps of 100's, 200's, 300's and 400's. Boys had to run 100's in 10-11 seconds, girls 12-13 seconds, 200's boys had to run at 23-25 seconds, girls had to run it at 26-27 seconds, 400's boys had to run it at 46 to 60 seconds, girls 61 to 72 seconds, 300's boys had to run it at 39 to 45 seconds, girls 50 to 60 seconds. This comment I texting is why STVM is a championship school and great talent comes out of it. I hope they win more championships.