by Samuel Abbas | sports editor

Following a second round exit last year, the Jags look to come back stronger this season. With many first year varsity players now on the team, the Jags look to develop their young talent and win games.

“I’ve been playing varsity for a few years now and I think we will do pretty good this season. There’s lots of talent on this team, and when we work together we will win more games and hopefully make the playoffs,” senior Kahlil McPherson said.

Following many consecutive successful seasons, the Jags look to accomplish something new this year. They think this season will be different and hopefully result in a district championship.

“I think every season begins with the desire to become the district champion.  Now to reach that goal you must look at your team strengths and weaknesses and how your players fit various positions. Early in the season we learn how our players can handle stressful situations and how our opponents will attack us in game situations,” basketball coach Randy Schuster said. “We learn what areas need more attention and how we can channel individual goals towards team goals.  Coaches must be able to be flexible and creative since each year provides new challenges.”

For some the biggest challenge might be motivation but for the Jags there’s something else: developing the younger players on the team. With nine first time varsity players and six of them being underclassmen, the Jags are not as experienced as they have been in the past. However they still believe they will win games and have a successful season.

“This season we will have five returning players from last year and we will bring in players off the JV and freshmen teams to form our roster.  Every season has a progression of events that each team must face to become better.  Players learn from wins and losses as well as the expectation to make each practice an opportunity to improve,” Schuster said. “Players can make strides if they utilize each day with the energy to improve and channel their emotions for what is best for the team.  Every player we work with has the desire to become better and should seek opportunities to get on the floor in game situations.”

Although the Jags have played the same teams for years now, they can’t really predict how well they will do based on past experiences. The team will play high-caliber opponents who can’t be taken lightly.

“It is really hard to project future success until you play against quality opponents who help players and coaches see what areas we can excel in,” Schuster said.

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About The Author

Samuel Abbas is a junior at Johnson and staff writer for MyJagNews. He is a fan of the Kentucky Wildcats, Chicago sports teams and Kobe Bryant. He enjoys watching sports and being active.

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