By Nolan Sanders
Elation. Satisfaction. Accomplishment. These were all feelings at the end of the boys basketball season last year after making the long journey to the State Final Four. This year, the Bobcats have lost three seniors that played a big role in making it to the Final Four, and as All-State player Skylar Sinon says, “we lost a good amount of leadership from our seniors last year, and that is going to be hard to replace.” After last year, the team has big goals and expectations to play at as high of a level as last year. So will the Bobcats live up to big expectations and make it as far as last year’s historic run?
Byram has a strong 4-0 record to start off the year, and even this early in the season, they are a favorite to win their section. Coach Repa believes “the team has all the pieces and talent to make another long post-season run. But in order to reach lofty goals such as another Gold Ball and a return to the State Tournament, the Bobcats must develop a team grit that will allow us to persevere regardless of circumstance.” This talent was especially shown in a recent 42 point game by Skylar Sinon that got him named player of Lohud player of the week. If the team is able to show grit in future tough games, the team should feel that they have as much of a chance as anyone to reach their goals.
When looking at the team based on talent, the Bobcats are built to make a deep run into the playoffs. The team’s core players, such as guard Skylar Sinon and forward Matt Groll, were vital in making it as far as they did last year; however, the seniors that left impacted the team dynamic more than anything else. They were the leaders on the team who played big roles on the court, and the captains of the team this year have shown that they can fill the big shoes the captains of last year left.
As the season goes on, the team will need to work together in order to win the tough games. The team has always been unified with the common goal of winning, and David McDaniels, a JV basketball player who has been to most of the games, observed, “the team looks like they have a lot of chemistry, and nobody is trying too hard to score or force shots. Also, the team plays with a lot of tenacity that has given them an edge over other teams so far this year.” For the team to keep this early success going, Skylar Sinon says, “We have a lot of talent and as long as we work hard and work together we should have a great season ahead of us. I’m really looking forward to playing with theses guys and seeing the fans.” Sinon knows that this combination of talent and hard work will lead the team to victory.