Jeff Gabbard Photo

Claire Stinger, Staff Writer

Connersville High School boys basketball team has had a satisfactory season. Coach Kerry Brown trained the boys hard this season to prepare for their toughest long standing rivals that they faced throughout the season. Brown explained that his strategy he implements during practice is,“practice to beat the best.” Their first game was in November of 2019 against longtime rival Union County at home. The Spartans were victorious, kicking off the season to a good start. Coach Brown has also changed up his coaching style in hopes of improving the team. This season, “the team voted on their own captains […]” Brown said. Every other year, the coaches have chosen the team captains.

     Junior Varsity and Varsity player Kaleb Sparks brought his skill to the court with both teams this season. However, this season has not been easy for the varsity boys Sparks explained. “[a] major challenge [the team faced] would be Ethan Smith tearing his ACL in the Batesville game.” Smith is a Senior, and in Sparks’ eyes, played a “major role” on the team. 6 ‘4 Junior, Cole Martin, believes Smith’s ACL tear was one of the biggest challenges this season as well. While this season has had its downfalls, both Sparks and Martin are looking forward to next season. Sparks hopes to use next season to improve on his “assists to turnover ratio” and “win conference and sectionals.” Martin has a similar team goal as well as “lead the team in rebounds and be the toughest on the team” next season.

     Varsity senior, Garrett Wickes, reflects on the season in a positive light. Wickes feels that during highschool he has made some of “ the best memories” while playing basketball. Saying goodbye to something that has impacted his life in such a  positive way for so long will be difficult for him. Wickes says he will miss “being with [his] best friends” most when he finally has to say farewell. Wickes does not plan to continue playing basketball after highschool, but the lessons he learned will stay with him forever. Basketball has taught this senior how to “overcome adversity and believe [in himself]. Life isn’t always easy and neither is basketball.”

     Varsity player, Jacob Brown, is wrapping up his senior year and saying goodbye to all of the memories he has made. The most impactful moments happened as soon as he and his team ran onto the court in the bowl. He was “playing in the town he grew up in, surrounded by family and friends”, and says that he will miss this the most. While he will miss playing in his hometown, he plans to play at Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois after high school. If he could tell the incoming freshman who plan to play basketball at CHS, it would “be a gym rat and listen to coach”, and that’s exactly what Brown has done. 

     Clay Garrison is also a Varsity senior who will miss “all of  [his] memories with the team”. This includes gamedays, workouts, and practices, which leads to his piece of advice. “ Show up to all the practices and workouts and work hard because it will eventually pay off.” Garrison is saying goodbye to highschool and heading to college, where he has “ a few offers, but [is] still undecided whether or not [he] will be playing.” 

     Ethan Smith, a varsity senior, has been a team player for his senior year. Smith tore his ACL during the Batesville game, and has been unable to play since. However, he “ [stayed] disciplined and committed to the program” and showed up through pain and discomfort to support his team. While Smiths’ season has not gone exactly as he had planned he has still been able to improve on certain aspects of the game. Smith believes that he has improved on “almost everything”. His improvements have opened the door for him to play at Anderson University after highschool.

     Tanner Brock is another senior saying farewell to the CHS basketball program. Brock is going to have the hardest time saying goodbye to “the connection between [him] and his teammates as well as the coaches”. This season has been an all around great season on the court and at practices. Reflecting on the season, Brocks’ funniest memory court was “coaching punting the basketball to the top of the bowl”.