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Boys varsity basketball is ready for their season

Coach Zwick prepares his roster of fifteen for another round of hoops

Another season of basketball has arrived, and head coach Darren Zwick and assistant coach Russ Olcheske are preparing to lead a squad of seven returners and eight newcomers. Here’s a look at this years’ team.

Senior Andrew Alspaugh drives against his teammates in practice. “I feel excited to see what our team is capable of on the floor,” said Alspaugh.

Junior Sam Ammon hypes himself up at practice after a defensive stop. This is Ammon’s second year on varsity.

Seniors Dylan Bouck and Jason Kline look on as the team is going over plays. Bouck is currently dealing with an ankle injury but is able to play at Williamston on Nov. 27.

Freshman Jakari Conway shoots a runner against Grand Rapids South Christian. Grand Rapids was the third scrimmage of the day for Holt at Rockford on Nov. 15.

Senior Sean Curry takes his turn during the shooting series. “We want to go far in the playoffs, and I want to do as much as I can to contribute,” said Curry.

Coach Zwick takes the opportunity to coach freshman Willy Curtis during practice. “The kids are very coachable and working well together,” said Zwick

Senior Max Darling shoots in front of a coach in a drill. The drill is called shooting series and is common in practices.

Sophomore Jacob Howard gets in a triple threat stance. The newcomer is one of the tallest players on the team standing at 6’3.

Junior Luke Jayaraman looks to run the offense. He starts to dribble against the zone defense.

Sophomore Nicky Johnson faces off against the returners in practice. Coach Zwick has the returners in white jerseys and newcomers in gold jerseys.

Junior Joseph Martinez dishes it off to his teammate. “I can’t wait to play my first varsity basketball game,” said Martinez.

Senior Connor McNamara waits to receive the ball. “I’m looking forward just to see how everyone progresses throughout the season,” said McNamara.

Junior Sam Sadler sets a screen for his teammate. As a result, Sadler tries to get his teammate free from the defense.

Junior Josiah Shamsideen rises up for a layup. He is a returner this year and is a part of the starting backcourt for the team.

Head coach Darren Zwick watches as his team defends against Traverse City Central. This is Zwick’s second year as the varsity head coach.

Assistant coach Russ Olcheske talks to one of the players during a scrimmage. He is usually responsible for recording the team's statistics.

On November 15th, the team prepared for the season by heading to Rockford for three scrimmages. They went 1-2, losing to Rockford 42-50, beating Traverse City Central 51-41, and losing to Grand Rapids South Christian 39-58. Now the team is practicing hard to get ready for the season.

“The team went through a goal-setting process last week. We have key metrics offensively and defensively each game that we are looking to achieve. We know that if we hit these game goals it will lead to a positive outcome,” said Zwick.

The players also have a goal in mind. They have their eyes on the state championship.

“Our goal is to win the state championship, but we have to take it one game at a time,” said Alspaugh.

The team has a size disadvantage but makes up for it with their selfless mentality. Zwick understands his team and knows what the team should do on the court.

“Our challenge is the lack of size we have on the interior. We are focused on the details to overcome this obstacle,” said Zwick. “The strength of this team is we play well together on both the offensive and defensive sides of the court. The team is embracing the ‘we’ instead of ‘me’ mentality. We should be a good shooting team that shares the ball well.”

Olcheske praises this year’s basketball team. The assistant coach has been a part of the varsity basketball team longer than any other person on this year’s roster. This year he has noticed the team’s effort and attitude.

“We have a group of guys that work hard and are team players. It is a fun group of guys to be around because they have positive attitudes and work hard every day,” said Olcheske.

Overall, Zwick is excited about his group this year. He thinks this season will be a good one.

“I'm excited about the progress being made with the fifteen guys on the team this year. We have a balance of returning varsity players and newcomers that are working well together and developing some positive team chemistry,” said Zwick. “I enjoy working with these young men and seeing them grow on and off the basketball court. I believe in our team and feel we will have a good year.”

The Rams played their first game on Tuesday, November 27th at Williamston. Holt lost 52-77. The remainder of the schedule is below:

(Tuesday) 12-4-18 vs Milford 7 PM (Friday) 12-7-18 vs Everett 6 PNM (Tuesday) 12-11-18 @ St. Johns 7 PM (Friday) 12-14-18 Okemos 6 PM (Tuesday) 12-18-18 Eastern 7 PM (Friday) 12-21-18 vs East Lansing 6 PM (Tuesday) 1-8-19 vs Haslett 7 PM (Friday) 1-11-19 DeWitt 6 PM (Tuesday) 1-15-19 @ Waverly 6 PM (Friday) 1-18-19 vs Grand Ledge 6 PM (Tuesday) 1-22-19 vs Sexton 7 PM (Friday) 1-25-19 Everett 6 PM (Tuesday) 1-29-19 vs Okemos 6 PM (Friday) 2-1-19 East Lansing 6 PM (Friday) 2-8-19 a Loy Norrix 7 PM (Tuesday) 2-12-19 vs DeWitt 6 PM (Friday) 2-15-19 vs Waverly 6 PM (Tuesday) 2-19-19 @ Lansing Catholic 7 PM (Friday) 2-22-19 a Grand Ledge 6 PM Districts 2-25-19 to 3-1-19 Okemos Regionals 3-5-19 to 3-7-19 @ Holt

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