Boys and girls basketball jumpstart 2022-2023 season

Both+boys+and+girls+basketball+teams+make+efforts+to+improve+during+the+current+season.+Photo+credit%3A+Jacqui+Gordon

Both boys and girls basketball teams make efforts to improve during the current season. Photo credit: Jacqui Gordon

Jack Steckel, Staff Reporter

Boys Basketball

After a heartbreaking loss in the championship game last year, the Spartans are back and firing on all cylinders for this upcoming season. 

 Graduating five seniors, “We lost a lot of size, physicality, and leadership from those graduates,” head coach Ryan Wehr said. “That will be difficult to replace.”

 However, the court remains deep this season with top scorer senior Max Pristas returning and  senior point guard Jonah Shaw back in action from injury. The Spartans are ready to run it back to the championship with returning seniors such as defensive beast Christian Gordon, floor general Quincy Brunner, sharpshooter Robbie Allen, scrappy Corey Trump, and big man Dawson Kauffman.

“The coaching staff hopes that getting a chance to play in those environments helps us. We’re hoping coming up short motivates our players to go further,” Wehr said. “And to make that next step to try and be champions.”

According to Pristas, the team has come together nicely since the summer ended.

“We’ve definitely progressed as a team since summer,” Pristas said. “It was a struggle.”

He credits the team’s progression to the off-season work that they have put in since the school year started.

“Since we’ve started practicing at the beginning of the school year, we’ve come a long way as a team,” Pristas said. “Being able to find out what works and what doesn’t is really beneficial.”

Coach Wehr agreed with Pristas about the team’s progression, and has high hopes for this season.

“We’re hopeful that this year we will be a bit quicker, be able to play faster, and shoot the ball more consistently,” Wehr said. “We want to be playing our best basketball at the end of the season and put ourselves in position to play for championships.”

With a quick and agile lineup, coupled with experience as well as high aspirations, this Spartans squad is shaping up to be an ominous threat to the Colonial League. 

 

Girls Basketball

On the opposite side of the court, the Lady Spartans are gearing up for what hopes to be a successful sophomore year for second-year Coach Sydney Slone.

“It’s an honor to come back and coach Southern Lehigh,”  Slone said. “I hope to bring the program to what it was and teach the girls how it doesn’t come easy. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to have success.”

Slone says the Lady Spartans have come together quite well.

“The team has done a great job of coming in strong and excited for this season,” Slone said. “I’m excited to coach this new group of girls; every team is different and changes the strategy and what I’m looking forward to each season.”

That seems accurate as this year’s group of girls seem excited and ready to go after a disappointing 5-14 recording in the 2021-2022 season.

“This year, we have knowledge and speed working for us,” senior captain Danika Lewis said. “There is a connection between us that somehow is always getting stronger.”

With this connection and new speed working for them, the Spartans have high levels of excitement blooming for the season ahead.

“We have a lot of great talent coming up with the freshman class,” junior captain Tessa Seagreaves said. “I am excited to play with this new team.”

Coupled with the new team’s chemistry and speed,  Coach Slone has high aspirations for her squad. 

“I would say the goals are to have a successful season on and off the court,” Slone said, “making it to postseason play and having the girls accelerate in the classroom.” 

With blistering speed coupled with a desire and hunger to be successful, these Lady Spartans are primed to be a dangerous threat to the Colonial League.