By Alyssa Gutierrez
Piedmont Hills Boys’ Varsity and JV Basketball teams swished into play this winter after Varsity became CCS (Central Coast Section) champions for the first time in the school’s history during their 2015-2016 season with a record of 21-7 overall and 10-4 in the league. JV finished with a record of 5-6 overall and 2-4 in league, and the Freshman team finished with 12-1 overall.
Varsity players are eager to get back to CCS and take the title once again.
“It feels pretty good coming off a win from CCS last year; we’re just trying to repeat that this year. It was the first time in the school’s history, so we’ve been working hard trying to reach that goal,” explained Senior Point Guard Goose Persin. “I’m most excited for the games just to play, be in front of everyone and try to do what we do.”
The players are hard at work going through vigorous training in-season and during the off-season to try and improve their skills. “We do a lot of conditioning like weight training and running. We also scrimmage against other schools and go to different tournaments” smiled Senior Center Albert Mendoza. “This year, we went to Vegas over the summer. We stayed for 3 days, and we got to know each other better.” The players who went to Vegas participated in a basketball tournament.
Varsity is also starting in a new league after moving up a division.
“(I’m excited) to see how our new league plays out. I think it’s going to be really fun. I’m hoping we have a lot more school participation, because it’s fun to come out and support your school team,” says Varsity Coach Mr. Peter Simos.
JV is looking to improve their skills.
“The only challenge we faced last year was chemistry amongst ourselves but we were able to fix that,” stated sophomore Point Guard Jorryn Amador. “Some of us got pulled up for Varsity conditionings, so those who were pulled up have to bring that varsity tone back down to JV.”
The Freshman team is fresh out of middle school and hungry to play on a new and bigger stage.
“Middle school was not as serious as a high school team is. We travel, have buses do fundraisers, and we also have to balance our grades with it,” said freshman Point Guard Kameron Navalta.
“It’s really important that they understand the commitment that we run at Piedmont Hills,” added Coach Simos to the freshmen who want to try out for the team. “The program runs about 45 weeks a year and if they want to do it, it’s a commitment to not just being a good basketball player, but also being a good person.”
Varsity kicks off their season with an away game at Palma High School in Salinas on Wed., Nov. 30. JV and Freshmen begin with a home game against Seaside High School next Tuesday.