Winter with no basketball

Peter Deffenbaugh, Reporter

The gym, although now air conditioned, remains empty as we transition from fall to winter sports seasons. 

Normally, the men’s basketball team would be working tirelessly in the gym to prepare for their upcoming season.  As of October 28, their season was postponed until February 12, after it was deemed a high-risk activity by the IHSA. 

The players and coaches of the team are doing the best they can to prepare for the season safely by mandating social distanced practices 2-3 days a week where they work on their individual skill, as well as suggested workouts to gain strength before the season begins. 

“I want them to lift and keep a ball in their hands, so that when we are able to play, they’ll be ready,” assistant coach Charlie Schemph said. 

The team has also adapted new techniques to stay motivated and focused throughout their off season.  They go into every practice or drill with the mentality that the team that has been working the hardest in this extra time will be the team that performs the best when the season rolls around. 

“We’re all looking forward to having a season,” senior Angelo Berna said, “so we try our best to go hard in practice to prepare for the tougher teams we’ll face this season.”

After many successful seasons, head coach Andrew McDowell is disappointed to not have his players on the court, but is also eager to strengthen his team physically and mentally.  McDowell has been assigning film to watch, creating practice plans to follow the COVID-19 guidelines, and developing strategic plays for certain teams. 

“We are trying to stay positive,” McDowell said. “It is so easy to be frustrated or negative during this time, but positivity is what is going to get us through it and I think that our coaching staff will mirror that to our guys.”

Assistant coach Charlie Schemf has also been doing his part to keep his players motivated to put forth their best effort. 

“I tell my players to wake up with a positive mindset, and hope that things will work out in the end,” Schemf said.

Senior power forward Angelo Bernal has been taking this advice from his coaches, and is confident that the extra time will only strengthen the teams individual skills, which will ultimately lead to a good offense and defense when it comes time for game play,

“We do lots of shooting and defensive drills, which can be kind of tedious,” Bernal said. “So I try my best to encourage my teammates, reassuring them that these extra drills will pay off in the long run.” 

Although the team is ready to get back to games, they consider the health and safety of the public and players to be their top priority and will remain patient until it is safe to do so. 

“We are going to stay ready, and once we are given the green light to start, go full blown, all out and defend our Central State 8 championship,” McDowell said.