Greenhorns, new coach poised for challenge

Other Staff

Little complaining is heard at the frequent 6 A.M. practices. With gym bags in hand and bags under their eyes, tired players lumber through the dark, icy street into the gymnasium.

A perfect season is not too lofty an aspiration for first year head coach Mike Neal, and the boys of the basketball team seem to have raised to his challenge.

Camaraderie is a key element of the team’s dynamic. Players build friendships with their compatriots in the near-freezing weather.

“I really enjoy this group of guys,” Brandon Cain, ’06, said. “We bounce off each other and encourage each other a lot in practice. We’re close on and off of the court. This is hard work, but it’s worth the sweat.”

Cain, like many others, is involved in other school groups. The team not only pushes their limits physically, but also socially.

“Although I do love this team, I really miss the guys from last year’s team,” Josh Wright, ’05, said. “Being the only returning player from last year’s team gives you a chance to compare the group dynamics. Without [Mike] VanBeek and [Nathan] Yockey, this group is a whole lot mellower.”

Wright is the only returning player from last year’s season. This seasoned individual is the senior member in a team of greenhorns. His expectations are high for such a young group.

“My money is on Josh Wright,” alumna VanBeek, ’03, said. “That boys’ got game! I miss being on the team, and I plan on showing up to a few of the games. This season is a chance for some fresh new players to show what they’re made of. I have high hopes.”

VanBeek was not only an asset last year, but he also aided in boosting the team morale.

“If I were to describe the team this year in one word, it would be sour-cream,” VanBeek went on to say. “Wet in the pants but firm on the potato.”

With great expectations from players and fans alike, this season shows potential for greatness.

“Everybody should show up to basketball games,” Eric Beneke, ’07, said. “We need more enthusiastic fans out there.”

Elated fans like Beneke relish the support of anyone willing to call themselves a fan.

After winning the Silver Consolation bracket o f the San Diego Small Schools Tournament on Dec. 10-13, it appears the team is primed for a winning attitude. The next event for boy’s basketball is the Coast Union tournament, December 18-20. For more information on games and scores visit