Basketball is Back

kimberly messineo, reporter

Football season has come to an end, but a new season of sports is just beginning. Basketball has already started taking over. The University of Kansas has had its exhibition games, and Free State is conditioning and looking forward to tryouts.

Coaches and players are both equally excited for the games to begin.

“I am excited to be back with the team,” junior Courtney Parker said. “I think it will be a good season because this year we have more juniors and seniors on the varsity and junior varsity level.”

With a new team this year, there are both positives and negatives. The seniors of 2011 have graduated and moved on, and it’s time for the next group to step up and play.

“It’s gonna be a challenge because we lost a lot of good players last year,” boys basketball coach Chuck Law said.  “But we have good returning players and we’ve got some younger players who are coming that will make our practices more competitive.”

Girls basketball had a young team last year, so almost the whole team has returned for this year’s season.

“Since we have pretty much all of our team back this year our experience factor will be a strong force,” girls basketball coach Bryan Duncan said.

Although Free State lost to LHS in football and soccer this year, players and coaches aren’t too worried about the match-up in basketball.

“I think there’s a lot of energy in the basketball game and all of our sports regardless of who’s won and lost,” Duncan said. “I think it’s a lot more of a factor based on your specific sports the previous times.”

“It might give [LHS] momentum, but because we did lose in the other sports it makes us want to win more,” Parker said.

Each game is different from others, and it’s always a surprise as to how a game might turn out.

“There’s so much emotion wrapped into that game you never know what’s gonna happen,” Law said. “You just throw the records and anything out the window when the two teams get together.”

A positive of this year’s season is that freshmen won’t have to travel to Free State each day for practices and games.

“It was a nightmare last year trying to organize practices and bring people from different junior highs to one place,” Law said. “I think a lot of kids didn’t try out last year for the freshman level because it was too disjointed.”

This year there are a lot more students going out for basketball, which will help give more depth to the program.

“[Depth] is the key to success for any program. You gotta have numbers, you gotta have depth and you have to have competition in practice,” Law said. “If you don’t have those things, then you don’t have much of a program.”