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The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

Boys basketball hits the court

Boys+basketball+hits+the+court
Emma Vondra

The Westside Boys Basketball team opens their season this Thursday, Nov. 30, against Lincoln Northeast. The Warriors are coming off of a preseason exhibition game against Skutt Catholic, where they nearly doubled the Skyhawk’s total scoring with a final score of 81 to Skutt’s 43.

Senior CJ Mitchell had a lot of praise for his teammates.

“We like to play together. We play through each other. I can get them open shots, and they can get me open shots as well,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell has emerged as a guard on a team that doesn’t have solid positions due to his ability to run the offense and shoot.

“Coach likes to play fast. He tells us to plant big advantage threes so whenever he wants us to get open shots he wants us to take them,” Mitchell said.

The Warriors have shown that they can compete at a high level, and can contend for a state title and that’s the goal for Mitchell, as well as the whole team.

“Win the state championship. Just put people on notice that we’ve got a really good team, we’ve got really good talent, and we’ve got guys that work hard,” Mitchell said.

Senior Rickey Loftin was out most of last season due to a knee injury he sustained before he transferred from Omaha South. After tearing his ACL and MCL, he has grown and worked as a player to become one of the Warriors’s offensive threats this season. Head coach Jim Simons had a lot to say about Loftin and his performance at Westside. 

“Rickey Loftin is someone who was a two year starter at Omaha South his freshman and sophomore years. Last year he battled a pretty serious knee injury, and it took him a while to get into shape. He’s a different player than he was a year ago. I think people will notice that right away. He’s worked very hard. He looks physically different, mentally, his understanding of conceptually how we want to play is further along than it was a year ago. I think Rickey will have a significantly better season than he did a year ago, the main reason being that he’s healthy,” Simons said.

In Loftin’s two years starting at south, he averaged 11.1 and 8.6 points per game before his knee injury. Loftin’s ability has grown physically and mentally, and Simons believes he can make a difference for the Warriors. 

The Warriors are expected to run an eight man deep rotation consisting of a starting 5 of CJ Mitchell, Rickey Loftin, Caleb Benning, Kevin Stubblefield, and Tyson Odvody or Maddox Anderson. Either Anderson or Odvody could come off the bench as 6th man.

“Maddox was a sixth or seventh man for us last year, and Maddox will be a key contributor for us this year. Whether it’s in a starting role or as sixth man. Tyson has improved a lot from last year as well. He’s grown two or three inches. His skill level has increased, his confidence has increased, and his strength has increased. He’s much stronger. And Tyson, Like Maddox will be in that 5th starter or in the sixth man,” Simons said.

The Warrior’s rotation will be filled out with Carson Healy, Donnie Barfield and Trell Snoddy.

“We’re gonna try to get to a seven or eight man rotation,” Simons said. “Carson Healy who played for us his freshman year, and is now back as a junior. Carson has had a very strong preseason. I think Carson Will compete hard for a rotation spot. Trell Snoddy, whos a junior, and got a little bit of varsity time last year, but mainly played on JV, is another guy that’s gonna compete hard for a varsity opportunity. Donnie Barfield is hurt right now, still recovering from a broken foot. But we think that when Donnie gets healthy, He’ll also be in the mix.”

The Warriors are set to open their season tonight at 7:15 p.m., where they take on Lincoln Northeast at home.

 

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About the Contributors
Ben Kaufman, Sports J Writer
Hi, my name is Ben Kaufman! I'm a writer for Sports Journalism this year. I'm a senior and this is my third year in Sports Journalism. My favorite food is steak.
Emma Vondra, Sports J Photographer
Hi, my name is Emma Vondra! I'm a sports photographer for Sports Journalism this year. I'm a senior and this is my first year in Sports Journalism. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at [email protected]
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