Freshmen look back on first varsity season, seniors celebrate last

Makayla Mais, Editor-In-Chief

 As senior basketball players celebrated their last home game on Friday, February 19, players just starting their high school career reflect on what they have learned in their first year on the team.

  Freshman point guard Logan Davis and shooting guard/point guard Matt Luebbert started off their first basketball season playing on the varsity and JV teams.

  Head coach Jason Ollison and assistant coach Derald Henderson say Davis and Luebbert have made an impact on the team.

  “Logan and Matt have really matured as players this year. We asked them to do a lot more than most freshmen are asked to do and they resonated very well,” Ollison said. “If they continue to improve they will be outstanding players for our program.”

  “Matt helps a lot with scoring,” Henderson said. “Logan is more about stability, and handles the ball well.”

  Davis and Luebbert made some big accomplishments in their first year.

  “My biggest accomplishment was scoring 23 points during our game against Eldon,” Davis said.

  “My biggest accomplishment was hitting the game-winning free-throw against Buffalo,” Luebbert said.

  Being a freshmen on a varsity team can sometimes come with stressors, but Davis and Luebbert have found seniors to look up to so the stressors could disappear.

  “I look up to Johnathan Plybon and Austin McCall,” Davis said.

  “I look up to Johnathan Plybon because he is always working hard,” Luebbert said. “He taught me that being dedicated and committed will get us a long way towards winning and showed me what I need to do to be successful at the varsity level.”

  Looking back on their first varsity season, Davis and Luebbert say they learned a lot and have high expectations for the future.

  “I learned that since you are going up against bigger players, you have to put in more work to be good,” Davis said.

  “I have learned a lot about how to play at the varsity speed and also how much time and effort needs to be spent practicing,” Luebbert said. “I expect us to keep improving and start playing better basketball.”

  Although Davis and Luebbert just completed their first season as varsity basketball players, seniors point guard Thane Henderson, power forward Kyle Nevius, center Austin McCall, guard Damian Adams and shooting guard Johnathan Plybon reflected on their last and realized how far they have come.

  “I’ll miss being with my friends, and working hard everyday,” Henderson said. “I think I have grown so much, especially this year.”

  “I’ll miss being able to play with my best friends, and playing just for the fun of it,” Adams said. “If I didn’t take junior year off, I would probably be more comfortable dealing with the pressure.”

  “The thing I’ll miss the most is being able to play side by side with my best friends everyday,” Nevius said. “I feel like this season has been the area of my biggest improvement due to never playing a second of varsity basketball to being in the rotation every game.”

  “I’ll miss playing with my friends and trying to lead the younger guys,” Plybon said. “I feel that I have come a very long way in almost every aspect of my game of the course of my high school career.”

  “I will miss the practice, being able to just play the game, and being able to play as a Warsaw Wildcat,” McCall said. “I came a long way, improving everyday no matter what.”

  Ollison and coach Henderson said they appreciated the leadership of the seniors.

  “This year’s senior class will be missed each in their own way,” Ollison said. “Austin’s leadership and effort on the floor will be difficult to replace. Johnathan’s tenacity on defense and his hard work on and off the floor is outstanding. Thane’s positive attitude towards his teammates is something that we want in all of our players.  Kyle’s work ethic and commitment to improving is a wonderful quality we will miss, and Damian’s upbeat personality and positive body language is something we will miss.”

  “The seniors are fun and outgoing people,” Coach Henderson said.

  With the loss of five seniors, the coaches are already considering the future for the team and what will have to be done to be successful.

  “We need to be committed in the summer, show up everyday, make less excuses, and get in the weight room.”

  “For us to be successful next season our returning players will have to up their level of dedication in the offseason, and continue to focus on fundamentals and getting bigger, faster, and stronger,” Ollison said.

  The team has been focusing on the first round of districts in which they are seeded eighth.

  “I expect us to keep improving and to play hard and compete,” Luebbert said.

  “I expect every player on our team to give a 100 percent effort,” Henderson said.

  “Going into districts I think that everyone is going to play hard and fight to get another win,” Nevius said.

  “I think we have a chance to beat anyone in our district if we play as a team and are all on the same page the whole time,” Plybon said.

  “I expect hard teams and very good competition and just looking for opportunities to get better,” McCall said.

  “Boonville is a strong, tough to handle team,” Coach Henderson said. “We’re going to have play tough to compete.”

  “I am hopeful that we compete hard and have a chance to pull off the big upset,” Ollison said.    

   The first round of districts for the team begins on Tuesday, February 23. The team plays Boonville. Boonville is seeded first in the single-elimination district tournament. The game begins at 4 in Cole Camp.