Boys’ Basketball Preview: New Players Step Up For The Season

Giulia Vidossi and Ashlyn Thomson , Junior Reporters

Without graduated seniors Cole Sienknecht and Jace Gwynn, underclassman and upcoming seniors on the MSHS Boys’ Basketball team have to step up and fill the spot. With young freshmen adding depth to the team, they are getting better individually and as a team.

Coach Brian Vecchio is very excited for the new season, as this is his first year as the Head Coach. He knows that underclassmen are going to have to step up with losses from the last season. “Open gym is going great. We are working hard and we have a lot of height,” Vecchio said. “Even if we lost our main scorer– with 35 points a game– we have players stepping up to fill the spot.”

Vecchio has high expectations for younger players including Joey Allen (11), Joah Armour (10) and Rashaun Booker (11). “Toward the end of the season last year, [Allen] was a major contribution and helped the team out,” Vecchio said.

The team will have to face opponents they couldn’t beat last year, so preparation and chemistry is key to their victories. With the football season now over, higher numbers of boys have come to open gym to ready themselves. “A lot of young people come in for the new season,” said Kainen Reed, an essential senior player.

Even last year’s starting shooting guard, Avery Olson (12), recovered from the injury that took him out of the playoffs last year. Olson is back on his feet and ready to go along with other key senior players: Zach Perry-Perkins, Hunter Zentz and Reed.

“I feel much better, and I have improved my game over the summer,” said Olson. “I’m ready to contribute what I can and then some to the team this year and improve my fellow players along the way.”

Even off the courts, athletes like Allen and Booker put in the work in Athletic Conditioning by lifting weights and influencing younger players on how to equip for the season physically. “Young players have potential,” Booker said. “They just have to reach for it.”

These younger players coming in from Manitou Springs Middle School have also shown they can bring something to the table. Upperclassmen believe that the younger players have great potential coming into the season. They have all shown growth through shooting in the morning and attending open gyms. “We are a young team and it should be fun to get better as the year goes on,” Allen said. “I will do anything to help the team to get better. I love basketball.”

Everyone is ready for a season of hard work and good results, where upperclassmen and underclassmen work together and try to reach the same goal.