Boys basketball seniors leave their mark on the team

Brianna Nelson, Staff Writer

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As each class passes through Liberty, they leave an impact on future students. This year, the four seniors on the boys varsity basketball team have lead the team in a way that will influence the program for years after they graduate.
After losing seven seniors to graduate, the team has had to develop new leadership. The boys started from scratch at the beginning of the season, creating a new team dynamic and finding a rhythm that works for them.
“Our four seniors, Jared Roberson, Cade Hughes, Gianni Almeda, and Jake Elfstrom all lead us in different ways, but they certainly are great leaders, whether with their voice—on and off the court—or with effort plays on Friday nights,” coach Omar Parker said.
Despite having a young team, the boys have been successful this year through hard work, commitment, and unity.
“Our team, on and off the court, is probably the most together I’ve witnessed in my four years here. We all have grown up together and are close,” captain Elfstrom said.
The team speaks highly about their motto of being “tough and together.” They show their toughness in their defense and rebounding on the court and their togetherness through their teamwork, and they credit this when it comes to their success.
“A team that is tough and together is a very hard team to beat,” Roberson said.
Their effort and hardwork has paid off leaving them ranked third overall in KingCo with 16 wins and 9 losses this season.
The leadership that the seniors have shown have guided the team to success, and they hope that the younger players on the team will learn from them.
“I want to teach underclassmen that there is more to basketball than shooting and dribbling. I want to pass on the effort and leadership to the younger guys that I feel is so important,” Hughes said.
Younger players in the program that either play select basketball or are playing at Maywood look up to the high school athletes. Seeing older athletes demonstrate togetherness and dedication will be essential to success in future seasons.
“I have more understanding of the roles of a leader and how important it is to have older and mature guys on the team is. They have been in the program longer, so the younger guys can learn a lot from them,” sophomore captain Josh Chung said.
In future seasons after the seniors on the team have graduated and moved on, their mark on the program will continue to lead the Liberty basketball team to success.
“Their impact will be felt for years to come as current underclassmen, Maywood Chargers, and elementary schoolers watch our Liberty seniors play with passion and demonstrate a selflessness toward team mates,” Parker said.

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