The boys varsity basketball season is up and running. But this season will be different than any other season that the players have played in and the coaches have coached. COVID-19 has caused drastic changes throughout the world and basketball is no exception.
Some of those changes include having to wear a mask during practices and games, as well as a more intense playing schedule.
“COVID has impacted our season by accelerating our playing schedule. We will be playing 3 to 4 games a week in an attempt to get through the entire season,” senior Anthony Martinez said.
Players are not the only ones who have been impacted by COVID.
“Since February, our team has only assembled 3 times before a delayed start to practice and tryouts.” Coach Poysden said. “This is drastically less time together in the offseason in preparation for competition. We are trying to be urgent about our business and level headed about our process to improve. We expect our best basketball is always ahead of us.”
The attendance for games this year will be different than normal due to COVID.
“It is definitely different, a lot of players including myself strive from crowd noise, but as a player you cannot worry about the fans. You just gotta take care of business on the court and do your job.” Senior Brayden Basile said.
Aside from COVID, this basketball team has a lot to prove this year. They will be coming off a disappointing season from last year hoping to improve as much as they can.
“We need to make improvements on both sides of the floor, starting with our collective defensive communication,” Martinez said.
The roster of this team has a good amount of seniors who hope to play basketball at the next level after their high school careers.
“We have several seniors who have expressed an interest in playing at the next level. Our senior class will be in charge to lead and take control of our practice and game performance.” Coach Poysden said. “The message never changes, be a great teammate and hold yourself and others to the highest of standards.”
As many sports fans and athletes know, there is no such thing as a perfect season. There will always be ups and downs no matter how good a team is. Players learn to win just as much as they learn to lose. Being able to handle a loss can be more valuable than handling a win when it comes to any sport
“When it comes to losing, you cannot keep a loss in your head. You have to let it go or it will control your mental and physical play in the next game. We have to use a loss as motivation because that next game is always a must win.” Basile said.
This season will test the players and coaches in more ways than it ever has. A lot of this extra pressure comes from COVID, but the rest comes down to being able to put together a great run in the playoffs.
“I think one of the main goals on everyone’s mind for the season is to obviously make a deep run in the playoffs, but also to get through the season without any Covid related issues.” Martinez said. “All it takes is one case on the team to completely derail the season, and we just can’t afford that.”
Photo: Isabella Ewing