Updated Wed, Feb 19, 2014 2:30 pm
Every athlete has a niche. Michael Jordan created the “money game,” Magic Johnson had the eyes of a hawk when distributing the ball, and Dennis Rodman was practically glued to the backboard. But how does a team from a small, remote, Division IV school fit the bill?
The boys from Glouster have found an interesting niche of their own—physicality.
“We know we got a target on our backs so we know we gotta come out and play physical and make sure they know that we’re not just gonna come out and lay down,” senior Jacob Koons said.
Senior Konner Standley couldn’t agree more, as he takes his quarterback mentality to the court.
“I think we want to be physical out there, I think we want to push the ball,” Standley said. “We want the other team to be scared of us.”
Much of the hype surrounding the Trimble school district this year is from their historic state football run, but the talent of these Glouster-grown products stretch far from Friday nights under the lights.
Their abilities span from the sweat left on the hardwood to days with the lumber in their hands.
That is what makes this herd of Tomcats so special.
Their athleticism and physicality breeds champions, or even better, brothers.
“We’re best friends, we have each other’s back. It all goes together. Best friends are there when you need ‘em and same thing on the basketball court,” Koons said.
Their kinship off the court defines their connection on the court.
“We’ve been playing since sixth grade together,” senior Jake Kish said. “Being together all the time, we’re best friends, so we always know what each other are going to do.”
Kish’s fellow senior couldn’t agree more.
“We’re competitive in practice. We push each other and work as hard as we can to make each other better. I think playing with each other for a really long time and knowing what the other person is going to do. I think it just combines all of the stuff,” said Koons.
It is evident that the Tomcats’ physicality molds their style of play. It takes just one game to realize the heart and determination that is left on the court after 32 minutes of play, but it is now, more than ever, that the eight seniors of Trimble must execute their toughness to the highest degree.
With tournament play right around the corner, Trimble’s fate is at stake.
“We know it’s win or die,” Koons said. “You don’t win, you go home. It’s the last time we get to play basketball together and we want to keep playing together as long as we can.”
“We all wanna go to the Convo, so we are all gonna stick together, work like we did in football and keep pushin’ and pushin’,” Kish said.
And “pushing” is exactly what they are capable of doing.
More than half of this talented team won’t be sporting the Tomcat jersey for much longer, but their impact on the court will last forever.