The anticipation can finally come to an end. It’s that time of year again. Basketball season. Can this year’s mens’ varsity basketball team live up to their state championship title from last season?
Last year’s win over Centennial-Corona put the team down in the history books for its first championship ever. With all the starters from last year’s team in college now, the coaches have to look to find a group of boys that can repeat what some doubted they could ever do: win the state championship.
Although it will take time for the new players and returners this year to adjust to compete at a championship level, they will still have a key factor to their team which contributed to the success of last year’s team, and that is Coach Nick Jones.
His high level of expertise of the game over the years has led his teams to be successful, whether he be coaching the Junior Varsity or Varsity level.
With seven seniors on the team this year, they are hoping to end their last year at Monte Vista with a bang. But do they have what it takes? Coach Jones hopes so.
“The expectations are high this year,” Jones said. “We lost 5 starters so it’s gonna be different. Those guys are not going to be easy to replace. Right now we’re trying to figure out what our identity is going to be and working towards getting where we need to be to compete again for a championship.”
In high school basketball, the state championship at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California is the ultimate destination and winning there would be a great end to a magical season, just as they did exactly one season ago.
Many teams in the world of high school basketball are highly competitive and put days and hours of work hoping to achieve a state title. But the boys’ team won’t have an easy road ahead of them as they have to defeat some very competitive teams such as De La Salle, who won their most recent state title in 2006, and San Ramon.
“We practice two hours, six days a week,” Jones said. “Plus two games each week.”
You can practice hard everyday, just like you study everyday in class, but when it finally reaches the time to show your skills in a game, or a test, nerves can start to kick in. With nine new players added to the roster this year, it looks like the team might have to deal with some of those nerves especially with the high expectations that everyone is seeking from them this year.
The six returners, all juniors or seniors, have some big shoes to fill in this year. With a new rotation set, these upperclassmen have been asked to step up and obtain a leadership role. Returners from last year’s team will get the opportunity to show their skills this year as some of them probably didn’t get as much playing time with the starting five being all seniors last year.
After losing to San Ramon in the regular season last year, the Monte Vista mens’ varsity basketball team was determined to beat them the second time around. And that’s just what they did.
Defeating the rivals allowed the team to win East Bay Athletic League and eventually North Coast Section. And most importantly there were no more losses to be seen in their future. They went on a 14-0 winning streak after that lone loss which led to their state title.
Some might think that the team would need to do a lot of rebuilding for this upcoming season, but Coach Jones believes that with hard work they can still reach their destination.
“It’s the ultimate goal to win another championship again this year,” Jones said. “It would be great to do it again.”