Young ball teams lean on leadership of upperclassmen
Basketball season has begun, and with the beginning of this season comes many questions. A few players from both the girls and boys teams have made statements on this season’s expectations, how this year will differ from last year, and how they encourage others.
“Honestly, we are rebuilding this season. We don’t have a lot of players returning on varsity, but we’re really improving, and at the Gatorade Scrimmage we did really good, so I think we can do pretty good this season,” sophomore, Jaye Hrencher remarks on how she expects the season to go for the girls team. She also talks optimistically on how this year is going to be a change from last year, even though there are many new players as opposed to veterans.
With such a young team comes many changes on how the team must play. In the past, the girls had a good source of height to rely on. This year, they don’t have the height they used to on the team, so they need to rely more on their speed. Also, with the loss of so many upperclassmen, the team must rely more on freshman players.
“It’s really nice when we have a big crowd and big student section to get us pumped up and keep the momentum on our side and away from the other team,” explains junior Elizabeth Kettler, speaking about the ways the crowd helps the girls play better.
Hrencher also remarks positively about how supportive the parents are and how good of a community Hiawatha has.
“If you’re having a bad day they’ll come up to you and ask you how it’s going,” said Hrencher. She also talks about how the girls are all role models for each other, and how they are all good friends.
“I just make sure they (teammates) try their best at everything because if you’re not going to give everything your 100% then why do it?”
The boys also have the struggle of a young team. The boys expect to see a lot of growing, learning, and building as a team throughout the season, though. They look up to Coach Eckert and their upperclassmen to help them achieve these improvements.
“It (the season) will go pretty good. We’re kinda young, but I think we should be pretty good,” explains sophomore Michael Moreno, talking about the upcoming season.
“We have a lot of younger guys on our team with a lot of skill; it’s a pretty big difference,” remarked senior Cody Siebenmorgen, comparing this year’s team to that of last year. The other boys also talk about how they are young this year as compared to last year. Being the only senior, Siebenmorgen has to find ways to encourage his younger teammates.
“I just tell them to give it their best effort, whether it be on the court or in school, all the time.”
Junior Kaiser Isaac, another upperclassman on the team, echoes Seibenmorgen’s support for the team’s younger players.
“We encourage through leadership in practices, making sure everyone can understand what they’re doing fully and making sure they’re right.”
Both teams have a limited number of upperclassmen as compared to the freshman, but the upperclassmen have taken on the role of leaders for their teams. During games where they may start losing energy and momentum, the crowd and student section help pick them up. The teams may be young, but they seem ready for the challenges the season will bring.