By Darren Battle
In high school sports, there are never consistent teams with the same players. New player’s arrive while senior’s graduate. This year for McMahon basketball they lost six seniors who last season, propelled the team to an 8-0 start. The they went 13-9 and made it to the state tournament where they were one loss short of an FCIAC playoff berth. They also advanced to the quarterfinals of the state tournament and lost to Danbury 53-44.
As senior leaders go away, there are new leaders that step up.
The attitude going into this year is hard work, mental toughness, and bigger roles. Aaron Mckeithan ('17), a senior basketball player this year, plans to play a role of making sure others work to their potential. “As one of the leaders of the team I'm not letting anyone on this team give up and I'm showing resilience every single game,” states Mckeithan. Coach Dustin the head varsity basketball coach expresses that the goal this year has to be a difference in mental toughness from last year. In other words, every hardship encountered needs to be quickly adjusted.
Adjusting to differences this year starts in the fall basketball league (a league where several returning players play scrimmages against other teams during the fall season). The fall league is an opportunity for players to prepare for the season outside of workouts. Matt Saint Louis ('17), an FCIAC all honorable mention senior, stressed that "the fall league is not about winning anything, it's about seeing the progress of the team and adjusting.” A determined Louis also states, "In our first game, we fought well as a team and made good adjustments to come back and win. So we look to do more of that throughout the year just adjusting to whatever adversity comes our way and sticking together through it”.
Aaron stated the reason of decline of the season was “What went wrong last year I think is that when we went 8-0 we thought we were in the clear and didn't play our hardest after.” Matt discussed the solution’s to last year’s problem is “Last year I feel like we started off really strong and got too comfortable. So this season we really have to work on starting strong and finishing how we started”.
Aaron Mckeithan, Matt Saint Louis, and Coach Dustin all feel like this years team is more than capable of making it to the FCIAC and States tournament. Coach Dustin says the boys have a goof chance of an upper-middle rank in the FCIAC league. According to Dustin, the key to success in a tough league is “-making everyone grow and get better on a daily basis, coaches included; and commit together as teammates.”
Make sure to keep tabs on this upcoming basketball season, as the Senators step up to the plate to reclaim their spot as the most hardworking, focused team in the FCIAC.