Comet Hoopsters a Force in League Play

Can you hear that sound?  It’s nothing but net!

Penn Manor’s 2009-2010 boys basketball season opens with high hopes for the Comets. With last year’s record 22-6 season, the team hopes to post an even better record this year. Losing key player, Forrest Lovett, to a partially torn ACL, has only been a minor set back in the basketball team’s upcoming season.

Coach Charlie Detz has high expectations for the team, and the players are ready to take over the LL-League.

“You have to be willing to go all out,” says coach Charlie Detz.

Detz believes that it takes intensity to have a successful basketball team, “If you do it hard, it leads to great success.”

Senior point guard, Sam Cornell, believes in the team this year, “We are going to be in contention for section league championships and do some damage in districts and states!”

Along with intensity from the players comes intensity from the crowd. These screaming fans help a great deal for the players on the court.

“It sets a bigger stage [spirit] and gets us more excited when there’s a big crowd.  The Hempfield game last year when it was packed, the game was so crazy, it was so much fun,” says senior forward, Patrick Welsh.

With this being Welsh’s last year on the team, he wants to make sure he leaves a legacy for his younger players.

“As a senior I want to teach them how to be leaders so when they are seniors they can teach and prepare the younger players how to lead as well,” says Welsh.

Detz is a ‘play-hard,win-hard’ type of coach, teaching the boys that what they do at practice is what they will do in the game.

“What we’re teaching isn’t a special brand of basketball. You got to work at it,” says Detz.

The game of basketball is not always smooth sailing, but the mistakes made on the court do not stop the boys from achieving success.

“Try to forget about it and move onto the next play, try to do something to counter act that,” says senior shooting guard and small forward, Keith Eshleman.

Having a packed gym for a basketball game can lead to some pressure for the players and the coach as well.

Detz admits to feeling pressure during games when they are in the heat of the moment but doesn’t let his emotions get the best of him, “Have control of your emotions, once emotions take over you’re making rash decisions,” says Detz.

In the gym five nights a week, for three hours a night, the boys are putting in the time they need to become the best.

“We have a winning tradition, we’ve had a lot of success in the last few years,” says Welsh.

Being this good though isn’t just about the skills that the boys have on the court. It’s about who they are as a team.

“Being good friends on and off the court makes it easier to coach,” says Detz. “If you work hard as a group, you worry about what your teammates are doing.”

By Allison Martin