Winter Sports Preview: Boys’ Basketball

Aniah Olson, Senior Reporter

The Manitou Springs Boys’ Basketball team is nonetheless pumped for this year’s winter ball season. As usual, there were open gyms held in the midst of the concluding fall sports season to squeeze in as much of the sport as possible. This is where the coaches can get a slight feeling of what kind of players they’re working with, while the players are getting familiar with one another as well as their coaches. This 2019-20 basketball season, Brian Vecchio will stay put as Head Varsity Coach while his father, Ken Vecchio, will continue to coach the Junior Varsity team. Both Vecchio’s welcome the new C-Team Coach, Mike Maiurro, or Coach Mo for short, as well as the Boy’s Basketball Assistant Coach, and previous mustang, Kainen Reed.

The boys’ basketball team has gone two years in a row without making it to the Class 3A state basketball tournament. This has done nothing but further motivate the boys to execute plays and work so much harder. Even when it came to playoffs in previous years, the Mustang’s struggled with staying in the smaller digits regarding the Class 3A RPI. But Head Varsity Coach, B. Vecchio, confirmed with his team his expectations for the season to come.

Despite previous facts, the boys are looking well suited – especially regarding how many returning players they have, who hold the most experience. The Mustangs get returning seniors, Joseph Allen, Grayson Bodor and Rashaun Booker as well as juniors Isaiah Thomas and Joah Armour. All of these players have their own personal goals alongside their goals for the team.

Although the Mustangs have to say goodbye to some players each year, they also say hello to new teammates. Sophomore Caleb Allen has done nothing but show out last year and he is expected to do the same this year, but this time on Varsity. Caleb’s older brother, Joey, is super excited for this season and believes as a team, “we need to play hard, good defense, and just allow everything else to fall into place.”

The Mustangs also got plenty of playing time as a team during the summer, when they visited the Air Force Academy and Colorado Mesa University to play in tournaments. The team played a lot of games, so many that those tournaments alone can just about count for almost a whole separate season. The tournaments helped the coaches get an early look at what kind of team they’ve got this year, while the players can get familiar with one another and their playing techniques. Matter of fact, this seems to be what the players prefer, “I believe developing skills in the offseason is very crucial,” said Thomas, “It’s very healthy and allows for you to learn what you’re good at.”

Although every athlete doesn’t always do offseason training, it’s very essential and good to hear it, especially from some of the best, “Offseason training is so necessary, and it really made us ready to go,” said Bodor. The boys are looking forward to a good start, they just need to maintain their efforts matching their diligence and they’ll be looking at a very successful season.