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The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

Hype begins as boys’ basketball undertakes new season

Senior+Jaiden+Aze+tips+off+at+the+boys+varsity+basketball+home+opener+against+Magruder.+Wootton+beat+Magruder+59-58.
Photo by Erik Kleinbussink
Senior Jaiden Aze tips off at the boys’ varsity basketball home opener against Magruder. Wootton beat Magruder 59-58.

It is that time of year when boys’ basketball has returned after a thrilling regional victory over Churchill in the 2022-2023 season.

The team was dominant last season, ending with an 18-8 record and a regional win. According to Assistant Coach Sanford Herzon, they have the potential to dominate again this season. The team has powerful players who have put in off-season work. “This year they are already talking about going to the state championship,” Herzon said.

The season opener was Dec. 5 at home, but before this game, they were able to get a feel for what’s to come. Wootton faced the Einstein Titans in a scrimmage in which every quarter the score resets. Wootton was dominant in all four quarters, winning each one.

Herzon recognized that it will not be easy, they are going to have ups and downs throughout the season but they must not give up. He talked about key points to be successful, such as playing lock-down defense and creating scoring potential on offense. “Play like a champion every single game means from the beginning of the tip till the last second clicks off,” Herzon said.

With all this hype building around the team, there comes immense pressure to put on a good show. They are practicing and improving almost six days a week, working on their craft to perform.” We are practicing every day, running through plays and working on getting stronger and more conditioned in order to handle the pressure and challenges that come with such high expectations this year,” junior Jack Sulivan said.

Head coach Erick Graves brought up young talent to further enhance the team. Sophomore varsity player Chase Mitchell, the youngest of the group, has to work with the pressure of being only a sophomore. “There’s definitely a lot of pressure because it is my first time on varsity,” Mitchell said.

You can count on this team to make a big statement,”

— Sanford Herzon

The team’s success does not only come from their talent and sheer skill, Mitchell finds that the spectators are what keeps the team energized. When the fans are chanting and cheering for the basketball team it keeps them in a groove. “When the team is down, if the fans stay in it, that energy carries onto the court and gives us some confidence to win,” Mitchell said.

Even after the team lost its leaders from last year, including graduate Peter Stanton-Shepherd, they have found ways around it, creating new top players for the team. “I think after losing we found great replacements like [Taj, Yassine, Jaiden, Sammy, and Khairi] who will get the job done for us the way Peter did,” Mitchell said.

The season tipped off at 7:15 p.m. on Dec. 5., with their first game against Magruder on their home court. It was a close match but the Patriots prevailed. Mitchell had two important back-to-back three-pointers in the fourth quarter to give the Patriots the 52-40 lead. Marguder continued to battle and narrowed the Patriots’ lead. Senior Khairi Hyde had a clutch free throw to end the game with a final score of 59-58 and a win for the Patriots. The next game is Dec. 8., at 7:15 pm.

This team is going to face challenges, but they are ready for them. “You can count on this team to make a big statement,” Herzon said.

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Alex Grainger, sports editor
Sophomore  Alex Grainger is a sports writer and is in his second year at Common Sense. He enjoys playing sports, going outside, and participating in activities with his friends.
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