By: Erin McCann
After the state of New Jersey decided to push back winter sports, many students became discouraged. No one knew if the winter sports season would actually happen or when it would take place, due to the new information about COVID coming out. This did not stop the boys basketball team from getting ready on their own. Many players have been working out and getting better during the off-season, so that they were prepared for whenever the 2021 season started. Now that practice began on Monday, January 11th, they are all eager to start playing games.
Due to COVID-19, JCHS only has a fifteen game season where they will play each of the six teams in their division twice and a division tournament at the end of the season. This is different from their regular twenty five game season with the state tournament at the end that they participated in last year. Although this year is a change, the Chiefs are coming off of a 17-8 season and back to back conference championships. They also have a strong team with three returning starters- seniors Brendan O’Donnell and Michael Giannetta, along with junior Chris Talavera. Other key players include Tyler Krisinski, Logan Flaherty, Ian Mattison, and Ray Zamloot. Mattison and Zamloot are first year varsity players that could have a role this season and help the team push for a championship.
The Chiefs have a tight knit bond with players from many different grades. As Brendan O’Donnell said, “It’s unfortunate that the season is shortened because of COVID, but we’re just excited to go out and make the most of what we have. A lot of guys have been working hard this off-season and Coach Fess is working hard to get us ready for opening day. We’re coming off two very good seasons and back to back conference championships, and I think we are set for another really good year.”
Many student athletes are excited for some sense of normalcy and getting the opportunity to have a season, even though it is shortened. Their opening day is fast approaching on February 2nd at 4 PM at home.