With the beginning of the winter season, the various JV teams at KO have started to prepare for the upcoming season. After the first few weeks of practice, teams have finalized their roster and have started to practice. Many teams have had new and emerging players, and some have even picked up new coaches.
Starting off with JV boys basketball, the team has a new Head Coach, Josh Barthelmess. Coach Barthelmess talked about his goals for the season. “Growth,” he said. “I want every player to grow and get better. I want to prepare as many players as possible for the varsity level and to build a team bond.”
Coach Barthelmess said he plans to work on fundamentals. Whether that be ball handling, passing, or shooting, Coach Barthelmess wants to have every player be well-rounded. The JV boys basketball team had their first game on Friday, Dec. 6, against Westminster. The Wyverns went on to win the game 57-37.
A typical practice starts out with a few fundamental drills, and then the rest of the time is split between offense and defense. After a few weeks of practice, one player in particular has stood out, freshman Josh Zukowski. Zukowski has demonstrated good basketball instincts as well as an amazing work ethic. “He really impressed me the first few days of practice,’’ Coach Barthelmess said. “I can’t wait to see what he does the rest of the season.” Overall, with a new coach as well as skilled players, JV boys basketball is looking to be an exciting team to watch.
Secondly, the girls JV basketball team is looking strong as well, with six returning players. With over half the team returning, the team has been able to bond and play together quickly. “I want the team to learn to play together because they can accomplish more together rather than playing independently,’’ Head Coach Ronald Monroe said.
He said that the older players have been helpful in practice, teaching and motivating the new players. “We have continued the work ethic from years prior,’’ Coach Monroe said. “This has set the tone for the younger players to play hard in practice as well as games.” The Wyverns had their first game on Thursday, Dec. 5, against Taft. The Wyverns went on to win the game 43-17. Freshman guard Hailey Williams led the team in points, scoring 14 in total. Sophomore guard Caroline Dawson also had an amazing game, scoring 11 points.
Thirdly, the JV girls squash team started the season off with six returning players and six new players, most of whom had never played squash before. “It was hard at first having to teach new players the game on top of helping the returning players improve their game and strategy,’’ Head Coach Cameron Biondi said. After a few weeks of practice, however, the new players are really starting to improve to become excellent squash players. One player in particular is freshman Lucia Gomez. Gomez has never played squash before this season. However, she has improved immensely in such a short period of time, moving up to the number 6 spot. Another player who has stood out is senior captain Anusha Memon. Memon is a dedicated player and a good captain, helping and supporting the new players.
Looking forward in the season, the Wyverns hope to improve their mental toughness and not let bad moments ruin matches. The Wyverns also want to work on playing at the highest level possible. The JV girls squash team has their first game on Saturday, Jan. 11, against Millbrook.
Lastly, the JV boys squash team has four returning players this season and a bunch of promising new players. With so many new players, practices have been dominated by drills and fundamentals. The returning players have done a great job working with new players and helping them to improve their games. Out of the returning players, sophomore James Beerbower has stood out in practice. Beerbower is focused, giving it a hundred percent every practice according to his teammates and coaches. “James is a dedicated player, and practices a lot,’’ junior Jaden Weinstein said. Another player who has stood out is senior Ben Iozzo. He has done a great job welcoming and coaching new players as well as continuing to improve his own abilities. Iozzo has been an amazing captain so far this season.
As for the rest of the season, the JV boys squash team want to help new players improve as well as continue the level of play and intensity of last season. The JV boys squash team has their first game on Wednesday, Jan. 11 against Westminster School and Berkshire School.