by: Salvador Mena
The John F. Kennedy basketball team has lost most of their star players from the previous year and is striving for a chance to win the C.I.F. championship title with a whole new team. The new basketball team consists of five returners from last year’s team and eight brand new varsity basketball players. Their team’s height and size has drastically decreased compared to last year’s team.
Jose Saldana played for Kennedy’s basketball team this summer, and he states that, “This year’s team can win the championship because they already have a sense of what it is to play in a championship environment.”
Alumni from last year’s basketball team Alejandro Gonzalez implies that, “The team will go as far as your leaders take you. The captains cannot let the team slip, otherwise the team will fail.” Last year’s captains led their team to the C.I.F. final and towards the state tournament. The team had height, talent, and chemistry throughout their season.
Cande Gonzalez, the junior varsity player says that, “We do not have much size compared to last year’s team, but we work hard and push ourselves to success. We are also the same team as last year. We are smart, and we can earn a variety of wins.” The new basketball team feels that they can be compared to last year’s team, and they can also perform better than last year’s team.
“Last year’s team had the perfect chance for winning the ring. They had all the stars aligned, and they were led by a solid senior class that had a good blend of talent,” expresses previous coach Dick Dornan.
Last year, according to the Valley Mission League the Cougars had the top player in the San Fernando Valley, Dominique Vargas, and now Chris Gonzalez is taking his role in leading the team to the finals. Chris feels that by taking his role he will be able to be a strong leader and take on any opponent that they will need to face.
With last year’s team having a variety of talented players, the new basketball team will have to learn how each other play and have to come together as a team to match up with the talent that the previous basketball team had. Height and strength may differ, but the team feels that they can be rise to the very top and come out as champions.