Boys varsity basketball holding their own halfway through season

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Photo by- Karim Diaz

Cedric Coward #23 is being defended by 2 Hoover players during there season match up.

Zach Moreno, Staff Writer

Covid-19 has had a huge impact on life, and while you’re in high school sports trying to get colleges to look at you, that can be tough. This is something no one saw coming. Covid hit California hard, shutting down just about everything, including sports.

The Central High Boys Basketball team was forced to wait, month after month while everything was paused. No one could say if they would have any semblance of a season at all.

The season was supposed to start in December, but this year it was delayed until March due to Covid. Now we’d all assume the players would be relieved to get back on the court, but the Head coach Greg Streets might have been more elated than anyone. Streets said that he was “ecstatic and excited to get back in the gym and at the same time cautious about exposure to COVID.”

There were moments the team thought sports would reopen only to be disappointed again when COVID numbers increased. Once things reopened, there was still some risk and tensions were high as each player had to be tested before being allowed to join the season.

Streets said, “I missed the grind of developing and coaching players to become respectful and positive citizens of this community and this out-weighed the fear of COVID exposure. I am happy the players can compete again as some players look to sports as a step to achieve their college aspirations.”

Once sports were back in play, there were still precautionary measures that needed to be taken. All players had to be testing for Covid twice a week and all equipment had to be sanitized before and after use. The team willingly followed these new procedures and “adjusted to the new rules and way of life,” said Coach Streets.

Now halfway through the season, the team has earned a record of 7-2 overall and 4-2 in their league. Both losses were close games, with the team losing by 10 points against Clovis West and a mere 3 points against Clovis North.

The Grizzlies average 71.7 points per game and with a couple of games left the two seniors on the team are pushing hard as this is their last chance to shine. With Cedric Coward averaging about 15 points per game and Milton Walker averaging about 10 points per game, they are major contributors to the team’s record this season.

Cedric Coward, the scoring leader on the team explained that players remained determined despite the unusual challenges they faced. “I feel like I am trying to be the best leader I can be to my teammates and positively represent the Central Grizzlies. I want to be the best all-around player to contribute to my team’s success,” explained Coward, “I think we should win all games. I’m not happy when we lose but I take those losses as an opportunity to grow and get better.”

Though the team knew their performance would suffer from reduced time to condition and practice, Coward only expressed thankfulness for the opportunity to play. “I am grateful and blessed for a season this year. I know a lot of schools did not allow a season and that affected a lot of kids mentally,” stated Coward, “I was lucky enough to stay in shape with my travel team.”

Coward also pointed out that senior athletes now had a chance to finish what they started four years ago on a high note. “Being that I am a senior, I had personal goals for myself, our team, and this season. Without a season, I would not have been able to end my basketball career by achieving the goals I set for myself at the end of last season,” stated Coward.

Milton Walker, who was only second to Coward in scoring stated,“I feel like my performance for the first half of the season was solid and I was just trying to do better every game. It feels good having a season this year because it’s always fun getting a chance to compete and show out.”

Now with a couple of weeks left of the season, the boys look to finish strong and seniors will thankfully get the exposure they need for college admission and scholarships.