It’s November. Basketball is here. Get ready to hear the chants of “just like football!” and Coach Schmidt’s yells from the sideline.
With the return of reigning MTAL MVP John Stivers and two all-league guards in Connor Marden and Thomas Spanos, the 18-9 team from last year could really do some damage.
“We have a lot of experience and a lot of talent so I feel good about it,” head coach Rich Frank says.
Frank says that the upgraded schedule proves to be challenging with early games against Burlingame and Half Moon Bay and back-to-back games against Monterey and Seaside.
The Padres lost four seniors from last year, including Defensive Player of the Year Mason Braun, but there is also room for improvement in several other areas.
“Our first goal is to always win the championship,” Frank says. “We want to improve on every facet of the game…maybe a little bit better perimeter shooting team and a stronger rebounding team.”
Stivers, who as a freshman led the Padres in points, field goals and free throws, is looking forward to the upcoming season.
“We have a lot of players coming back, and that is going to be fun,” Stivers says. “We’ve played together a little bit longer so we’ll have a lot more chemistry and hopefully go further into CCS and have a better overall season.”
The returning junior Marden says that the goal is to win another MTAL championship and that he is looking forward to playing with a different group of guys.
Girls’ basketball looks to rebound from a 43-12 playoff loss to Half Moon Bay that ended their season.
“Judging by the returning players and looking at the returners in the rest of the MTAL, I would say we will field a competitive squad this year,” head coach Tom Dooner says.
The girls’ team went 11-11 last year, with a league record of 7-6. And just like the boys’ team, there are big shoes to be filled.
“Fortunately we only lost two seniors last year, but Kaitlin Davis and Josie Odello will be missed,” Dooner says.
Dooner adds that they will be losing defense and three-point shooting with the 2013 grads, but those coming up from JV and those new to the program always step up and fill the shoes.
The returning players for the girls include last year’s scoring and field goal leader Amber Clark and Madelynn Whittaker, both of whom are juniors.
“We have a young team this year, and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do because we have a lot of potential,” Clark says.
Whitakker notes that the entire team strategy has changed because of having more guards than post players, but she looks forward to trying the new transition style.