By Breanna Smith
The last time the wrestling team won a Conference Tournament was in 2001 and the last time the boys basketball team won was in 1996. This year, both teams were able to bring home that title again.
“I don’t think we did anything drastically different,” said head wrestling coach Mr. Mowinkel. “We have pushed hard, each team member has a good practice partner, and being nearly full at every every weight class definitely helped.”
While the wrestlers place a lot of emphasis on how hard they worked during practices, Forbes said the basketball players didn’t really attempt to do anything they hadn’t done before.
“Our thought process all season was that the team that plays the most normal will win the game. We knew that if we could just play normal we would be in the game at the end and that’s what we did the second half. We didn’t try to do anything that we weren’t comfortable doing,” Forbes explained.
Both teams records from this season have been pretty impressive, but their Conference Tournament history from the last few years have driven them towards this season’s success.
“We finished third [in the conference] the last three years. We gained some extra confidence when we finished ahead of North Bend the week before in Oakland. Going into the season I was honestly expecting us to finish second,” said Mowinkel.
Forbes had similar hopes for his own team going into the tournament as the team finished second last year.
“I thought we had a great shot going into it,” said Forbes. “I think the championship game was 50/50. BRLD has had a great year and we’ve had a really great year and that’s the way it went. They made it really interesting at the end and it came down to free throws and that’s what I was expecting.”
While the wrestling team only had one senior, the basketball team has eight, five of them being starters.
“Our lone senior has led by example; Nolan [Miller] practices at a high level every day and helped make that aggressiveness contagious,” Mowinkel said. “We’ll definitely miss him next season.”
Forbes said that losing this year’s seniors is going to make quite a difference in the team and the way that it works, but some good will also come out of it.
“We’ll have one guy returning out of our top nine next season, so we’re going to need a lot of guys to step up, but it’s going to give a chance to guys who haven’t seen a lot of varsity playing time,” said Forbes. “Obviously we’re going to miss the seniors because they’re great guys on and off the court but I just hope that the new guys can continue the culture that these guys built.”
Photo Credit: Breanna Smith/Raider Star
Photo Caption: The wrestlers and boys’ basketball team both earned East Husker Conference plaques this season.