Men’s varsity basketball team strive for state championship, acknowledge disadvantages, benefits to last year’s short season

WELL+RECEIVED%3A+Wil+Leary%2C+varsity+basketball+player+and+senior%2C+looks+at+a+referee+shortly+after+making+a+layup.+According+to+Leary%2C+last+year%E2%80%99s+season+was+cut+short+soon+after+his+team+won+the+sectional+championship.+

Oli

WELL RECEIVED: Wil Leary, varsity basketball player and senior, looks at a referee shortly after making a layup. According to Leary, last year’s season was cut short soon after his team won the sectional championship.

Hannah Baer

After the carmel men’s varsity basketball team won the sectional championship last season, the team was continuing to pick up momentum. However, about a week after the team won that sectional championship, the season was abruptly cut short due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Now, the team looks to finish what they could not last year due to the pandemic cutting the season short. 

Bryce Beery, varsity basketball player and senior said via email, “It was heartbreaking knowing that (we) were on a stretch to the state championship and it was cut off so abruptly, but also I had to realize that I had another year which meant so much growth could be made in that time.”

Beery added, “So (the season ending abruptly due to COVID-19) did have a big effect on me at the time, but also gave me time to improve my game.”

Even though there will be some major changes to the season such as a lower number of people allowed to the games, some things might not change as much. Beery shared his thoughts about the impact of COVID-19 on team chemistry. 

“Carmel is all about the team, it is never about individual accolades. I think that this Carmel team is a special team this year, even though it might be a different year, I still believe that we’re gonna be one of the top teams in Indiana,” Beery said. 

Head coach Ryan Osborn talked about how COVID-19 has been affecting the team’s preparation for the 2020-2021 season. 

“In the last 8 months we’ve learned to be patient and flexible while approaching everyday with the understanding we’ll have to adapt to something new or challenging.  Our players and families have done a fantastic job working together and keeping a positive attitude.  There is nothing easy or convenient about the things we’re all experiencing, but I’m extremely proud of our progress and optimistic about our chances of continuing through the season,” Osborn said via email.

He added, “Although there are some things that may look different from the outside, everything continues to move forward as far as team development and preparation is concerned.  Some things may take a little longer that it has in the past, but ultimately, the players are committed to coming together, getting better and really enjoy competing with and against each other.”

Osborn also said there have been some major changes implemented prior to the previous season in order to keep everyone safe at practice due to new COVID-19 restrictions. Some of these changes include all coaching staff wearing masks, hand sanitizer available at any moment for everyone, film now watched in the gym instead of a smaller space, and practice gear washed daily. 

  “We talk about it and practice it daily. There have been a lot of adjustments to things we normally wouldn’t give second thought to. We continually stress social distancing and wearing a mask when not participating,” he said.

Osborn also said that he is optimistic about the season and all the hard work that the players put in. 

“I love coaching this group. They give us their best every day, they enjoy being around each other and they want to win. Given all the circumstances we’re experiencing I wouldn’t want to go through it with any other group of guys,” Osborn said.

Wil Leary, varsity basketball player and senior, also talked about how he felt when the season abruptly ended last year due to the outbreak of COVID-19. 

Leary said via email, “The season ending after we won the sectional championship (was) the worst part because we thought we could make a historic run to the state championship.”

 

HIGH HOPES: Wil Leary, varsity basketball player and senior, attempts to take a ball during a basketball game on Nov.24. According to Leary, basketball games and practices have been constantly changing since the beginning of the school year. However, despite changes and new safety procedures, Leary said he is looking forward to playing in the new season.

Leary also added that things are constantly changing. The first scrimmage on Nov. 16 was supposed to play Jefferson High School in Lafayette, but then the team ended up playing Silver Creek due to a last minute change. 

“Expecting the unexpected is what we will have all season,” Leary said. 

Leary also added that some things have changed due to the new COVID-19 restrictions. In addition to the precautions mentioned earlier, he said that spreading out on the bench is a new implemented precaution. He added, “I’m most looking forward to getting back on the court and playing in a Carmel uniform.”

Although some things have changed this year since last year, Beery still said he is still excited about the season.

Beery said, “It’s my senior season, so (I’m looking forward to) just spending the last year with my teammates and hopefully winning lots of games.”

For more information about the men’s varsity basketball team and game schedules, visit: https://gocarmelgreyhounds.com/teams/2952030/boys/basketball/varsity/schedule

To view a similar story published last year regarding the women’s basketball team and their rebuild, click here: Women’s basketball aims to move forward from last year’s rebuild – HiLite

1