Cobras Basketball sees change of pace
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 17:10
As the seasons change, basketball starts to pick up. Junior colleges all across the country began official practices for the upcoming 2012-2013 season on Monday, Oct. 1.
Last year, our men’s basketball team finished with an average record of 19-13, while the women’s team finished at 20-11.
The Lady Cobras are looking for yet another twenty win season, while the men’s team, which is getting better, is still trying to find that season to put them over the edge.
For the men, it is a change of scenery. Anthony Figueroa begins his first season as head coach of this newly revised Cobra team.
This year’s team features a mix of young and veteran talent at the junior-college level, as Parkland returns three starters from last year’s team and brings in two junior college transfers. Cedric Smith and Dominique Walls will join the ten freshmen that are also on the team.
Describing the prospects for this season, Figueroa had this to say, "I’m looking forward to seeing us getting better as a team. By junior college standards, we’re very inexperienced; we have five sophomores, with two of them having substantial playing time, so I’m looking forward to seeing them grow on the court and off the court.”
The women’s team is diverse from a player’s point of view as Head Coach Karrie Redeker returns seven players from last year’s team and adds six freshmen. The team will combine experience with young talent and anticipates another terrific season.
Sophomore forward Uzuri Williams was asked about the upcoming season and answered, “We’re looking to become the best team that we can be, really just growing as a team and doing the best that we can by breaking records and hopefully becoming national champions in the end.”
“I’m really looking forward to hopefully playing at nationals at the end of the season,” Stephanie Barmes, freshman center, replied. “I’m also looking forward to playing with the other girls on the team. The team that I used to play for, which was really small, didn’t have many plays to run so the experience of getting better at basketball and hopefully on to a bigger college after this.”
Going into a season with confidence makes the game a lot easier. At a junior college level, the sophomores are usually the leaders, but in this case some of the freshmen are stepping up and becoming leaders themselves.
For the men’s program, a new coach can be tough to adjust to, but can also help as the season progresses. From a player’s point of view, some become better under a coaching change, others do not change at all. For Parkland, change is necessary, as this team is looking for a stretch in the season where they can prove they have what it takes to compete.
Regarding his expectations for the players this season, Figueroa stated, “You look to your sophomores. We have three returning from last year, Mark Gilchrese, Dalten Temples and Anthony Woods, so I hope that they all improve and step up.”
“I also look to the two starting transfers we have, Dominique Walls and Cedric Smith. We are looking for big things out of them, to carry us and lead the work load and help the freshmen with as much as they can,” he continued.
The women’s team is a different story, as they continue to repeat success and continue to grow as a team. The Lady Cobras are a special team this year and certainly have everything it takes to become national champions.
“The freshmen class is very good to me. Jocie is an all-around player, she can play post, she can play point guard, the three, the two and she shoots threes so she is definitely one of those all-around players and as she continues to grow, will become a mainstay in the lineup and Erin has a good three-point shot on her, so I like a lot of the freshmen class to contribute,” Williams stated.
Barmes added, “I would say all of the sophomores are really awesome, they’ve all been a really huge help to me and just as a team, and in general, we all get along. I’ve never seen a team that gets along so well and I haven’t seen any problems with anyone on the team.”
Team chemistry is something every team desires to have, and fortunately these two teams have it. Come cheer them to victory this season at Dodds Athletic Center.