Boys Basketball: Finding a new value in the game


Avery Green, Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: All contact sports start dates were pushed back to Feb. 1 after this article was published.

The once congested pioneer stands will now be cruelly abandoned, as only parents of the players will fill the bleachers. 

Spectators bring a lot of energy to the game, and when the home crowd is getting very loud, it is very tough to play as the opposing team. With no fans, it’s going to be harder to gain momentum,” Brendan Burns ‘22 said.

The first game back on the court in the 2021 season will be held on Jan. 26 at the home of the Northview Wildcats. While waiting for the return of the season, players have been staying on top of their game, mentally and physically. 

“Throughout the pre-season, we’ve been practicing with three people at a time at the Boys and Girls club to stay in shape for when our season begins. We also Zoom regularly to keep in touch on how to stay ready for our first practice,” David Bernecker ‘22 said. 

The past few months have been filled with loads of uncertainty as the players are restricted to sit back and watch as the MHSAA sets and resets the deadlines for their season starting.  

“Every team is being affected by COVID-19 the same, so the first week of practice is going to be very important for us to build up our team chemistry so we can work well together,” Burns said.

The strong-willed Pioneers won’t let the numerous amount of setbacks slow down their promising 2021 season that they have in store. Many underclassmen are showing stellar promise that will hopefully put the team in a substantial position. 

“I love our chances this season to have success. Even though our conference is arguably the best in West Michigan, a lot of guys have been committing to staying in shape and working hard,” Ben Whiteside ‘21 said.

Precautions will be put in place to ensure safety for every student-athlete in the midst of this nerve-wracking pandemic. 

“I believe we will be tested a couple of times a week, it’s not ideal but it’s something that is necessary for our safety,” Simon Neuhaus ‘23 said.

The athletes are eager to get back into their home gym and make the most of whatever season they are given, knowing that it could easily be taken away from them with the uncertainty that 2021 has in store.

This unpredictable season will leave the team unsure about how the outcome of their 2021 season will go but one thing is certain that players like Whiteside will make the most of their last year playing with the people they have grown up alongside.

“Last season I didn’t value competing with my classmates as much as I should have,” Whiteside said. “This season every second I’m on the court I plan to make the most of it and have no regrets.”