Many expected this year’s boys’ basketball season to be a bit foul, but the team made it through the season with a perfect free throw on the court.
The coronavirus has brought an unexpected reality to the season and the boys were motivated and determined to make the best of the situation. The overall record was 10-8, and the record in district was 7-4. The team also placed 3rd in the district and made it to the 2021 Boys State Basketball Championships on Feb. 23,2021.
“Each year we must prove ourselves and this year was no different,” Coach Lofton, one of the boy’s varsity basketball head coaches, said. “Our guys came in and worked hard every time they stepped in the gym.”
In championships, the Vikings were beaten by Lake Highlands with a final score of 51 – 61, but of course the team played their best in the game. Lofton said he was grateful for the opportunity to watch the boys develop as basketball players and into young mature men, especially in a season full of uncertainty due to COVID-19.
“We never knew what would happen from day to day, so that made me feel uneasy at times,” Lofton said. “I also saw how our coaching staff came together to get things done for our guys. So that made me feel blessed and proud to be a part of Lamar basketball.”
This year all the coaches were expected to adjust practices and games to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and keep everyone safe. While juggling school work and practice can be stressful and unmotivating to many student players, the boys were able to stay positive and motivated during the season.
“It was kind of frustrating dealing with school work and practice, but I’m proud of what I accomplished with the team,” varsity basketball player, junior Elijah Powers, said. “Basketball is really important to me, so I had to push through.”
The coronavirus spreads mainly from person to person, especially between people who have been in close contact with each other. To prevent spread, many coaches had to rearrange practice in order to keep the players practicing social distance.
“The coronavirus has changed a lot of the normal things that we do in our program,” Lofton said. “The biggest thing was that every team had to isolate from each other, so if one team was affected, then it would not take our multiple teams”
For example, in most seasons the varsity team practices against the JV sometimes. Lofton said this helps both teams work on different aspects of their game. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, this was not an option.
The team has had many disruptions in their schedule due to other teams having to quarantine during the basketball season.
“This team was especially good at this, and I am grateful for the opportunity to coach them,” Lofton said.