Linfield basketball, back at it again

Athena Benjamin and Wilson Sherman

Fall sports have ended, which means winter sports are starting up again. Both the Linfield men’s and women’s basketball team have clear goals looking toward the season.

For the preseason, the the men’s basketball team has a weight lifting coach who gives them three to four workouts for each week. They also condition three days a week and practice on the court three days a week.

This season, the team has focused more on being quicker on the court than they have in previous seasons. Opposed to the traditional strategy of having two strong, but slow players on the court, the coaching staff has decided to prioritize speed over strength.

Assistant Coach Jon Willis, who was hired this year on Sept. 24, said the team comradery is like nothing he has seen before in his twelve years of coaching.

“The atmosphere is created that we want to be the best team we can possibly be and every player, every coach, every manager, everybody has bought into that,” Willis said.

A large part of this cohesion, in Willis’ perspective,comes from the upperclassmen mentoring the underclassmen who are open and receptive to the support.

Regardless of the age and time division between under and upperclassmen, junior Riley Bruil says that playing time is determined by skill, not seniority.

“There’s no hierarchy. Time served does not mean anything here. Everyone has an equal opportunity to make a difference on the team,” said Bruil.

Bruil said Coach Rosenberg has the perfect balance between pushing the team to work hard while also genuinely caring about every player.

For the last couple years, the NWC conference has been run by Washington but the ‘Cats intend to change that this year. After landing fourth in last year’s standings, the coaches have analyzed their mistakes and believe they are on the right track toward a championship.

The men’s team finished fourth in conference last season. They will play their first preseason game Nov. 11 at home against Evergreen State.

Led by fourth year head coach Casey Bunn-Wilson, the Linfield women’s basketball team looks to rely on returning juniors Kory Oleson and Molly Danielson as they begin another season in the competitive Northwest Conference.

“The last couple of years we have been knocking on the door of the conference so that is the goal this year. To break through,” said Bunn-Wilson.