Basketball players prepare for slightly different winter season


Photo used with permission of Natalie Hogan.

Junior Natalie Hogan goes up for a layup in her game against Edison High School on Dec. 10.

Terra Nagai, Sports Editor

The season is fast approaching, and with new teammates as well as new rules due to the coronavirus, boys and girl basketball players must adapt to these changes by preparing in different ways.

Junior Kendall Morgan has been working on her technical skills. However, some aspects of her usual routine have been cut off.

I have been going up to Chantilly and have been working on my ball handling and shooting on the outside court,” Morgan said. “Our team has also been getting together twice a week to workout and practice to get ready for tryouts. However, we usually would already be inside the gym and weight room working and getting ready for tryouts, but we can’t do any of that right now due to COVID-19.”

Like many other student athletes who had their normal routines altered by the coronavirus, junior Sidd Krishnan overcame this obstacle by making the most out of his available resources.

“I am preparing for the [varsity] season by trying to build muscle and work out so I can compete,” Krishnan said. “Normally, I would go to my local gym, but because of COVID-19, I have to take on a more ‘home’ approach to working out.”

The Virginia High School League  released new rules for each high school sport to limit the risk of spreading the virus. For basketball, this includes sanitizing balls during breaks, no tip off at the beginning of the game, no fans in the first few rows of bleachers and social distancing everywhere off the court. 

In my opinion, these rules will make basketball games have less energetic environments, but it will be easier to communicate on the court,” senior Luke Titus said. “It will be sad having less fans there, but it is for the best [of] our community.”

Morgan agrees that the feeling of the game due to the new rules will be different, as the restriction of fans from sitting in the first few rows of the stands and social distancing rules takes away the tight, compact atmosphere. However, she believes that the new rules still allow the players to enjoy the sport they love and perform at their highest potential.

“Since there is only one tip off in the entire game I don’t really think that will affect us,” Morgan said. “But I think having not as many fans will be hard because normally, we have a lot of people cheering us on and it gets us hyped, so it’s a bummer not having fans.”

With talent all over the court, Morgan believes that this year’s team can do better than last year, as they finished with a 16-7 record. Last season, the team played 23 games, but this year the team will only be playing 12 regular season games.

“We have a very good chance of getting to [the state championship] and possibly winning,” Morgan said. “We also have four girls committed to play basketball [in college] this year which shows the potential our team has.”

According to Max Preps, the girls basketball team was ranked in the top 10 teams in the Virginia Division 6A season, and junior Natalie Hogan believes the team can continue that success into this year.

“I think it’s very doable for us to go far in the playoffs and maybe even win the state championship,” Hogan said.

Last season the boys team finished with a 7-16 record, but Titus believes this season will see a completely different record as many of the members on the team have already played together.

We have nine or 10 returning seniors including two starters that could make the team this year,” Titus said. “This experience will lead us to a very successful season in my opinion, and I think we have a good chance at competing for the district title.”

The girls basketball team’s first game is at home against McLean on Dec. 21, and Morgan is excited for another season of playing basketball with her friends.

I look forward to actually getting back on the court and playing games,” Morgan said. “I also look forward to seeing all my teammates again because we all get along really well and it’s really fun playing with them. Lastly, I look forward to seeing what new additions will be made to the team and what contributions they can make.”

With the boys team’s first game at McLean on Dec. 21 Titus looks to leave it all on the court in his last season as a Chantilly basketball player.

“Even with all the new restrictions, it will be a very fun experience to play my senior year of basketball no matter what,” Titus said. “All I have to say is ‘Go Chargers,’ and hopefully we can be back on the court soon.”