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Runnin’ to District

Boy's basketball compete for district championship

Cooper+Bowers+dribbling+around+a+Carter+Riverside+player+and+Gregory+Montgomery+trying+to+assist.%0A%0APhoto+by%3A+Emily+Edwards
Cooper Bowers dribbling around a Carter Riverside player and Gregory Montgomery trying to assist.

Photo by: Emily Edwards

Cooper Bowers dribbling around a Carter Riverside player and Gregory Montgomery trying to assist. Photo by: Emily Edwards

Cooper Bowers dribbling around a Carter Riverside player and Gregory Montgomery trying to assist. Photo by: Emily Edwards

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After the gain of a new head coach for the boy’s basketball group over summer break, all teams in the program are eligible for district championships while the varsity team plans to go into playoffs. 

“We want to be district champions, so we need to win now in districts and we want to go deep into playoffs,” junior Andrew Lastinger said. “As a team, we need to come together and play as good as we can to go far in playoffs.”

Head Coach John Mills’ first year just started, but he said he has already set goals for varsity to accomplish. 

“One of our goals is to do something special that hasn’t been accomplished since 1985, and that is winning a playoff game,” Mills said. “We understand we first have to qualify for the playoffs and the better we do in district, the better opportunity we have in accomplishing this goal.”

Prior to coming to the school, Mills coached at three other schools before finally settling at Grapevine.

“There is always an adjustment period for a new coach and his players,” Mills said. “The kids here have made it a very smooth transition for me as a coach. We have very intelligent, fundamental and detail-oriented players that adapted to my system very quickly.”

All teams in the program have had to balance a new coach and his style of coaching.

“He’s a great coach,” junior Malcolm Shimkus said. “I like what he brings to the program and he’s determined to win.”

Players on the freshman A Team also are on the road to becoming district champs.

I think we should definitely keep our heads on straight because we’re kinda in a not so good district,” freshman Elijah Greisen said. “Some of the teams aren’t very good, but we can’t get too high on ourselves. We have to stay focused and know we can win and be confident.”

Varsity players had to alter their way of being coached within the short period of time Mills has been at the school.

Personally, in the beginning it’s hard because you have to get used to a new face around who has a different coaching style from what we’ve been used to,” Lastinger said. “I think it’s been good for everyone with the change of scenery and new systems in place as far as basketball wise. It’s worked out well.”

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Runnin’ to District