By: Kyler Black
Eisenhower High School fall sports are coming to an end, which means Eisenhower’s winter sport teams are starting to begin preparations for the season. A big congratulations to our fall teams as they wrap up successful seasons, but a huge good luck to the winter sports teams.
Eisenhower’s three varsity winter sport teams are boys basketball, girls basketball, and wrestling they are all looking to have a great season. Each team is coming off strong seasons last year and are wanting to continue the performances.
The boys basketball team welcome back head coach Ryan Mangini for his second year as Eisenhower’s head coach, while the girls basketball team and wrestling team have some new faces in the mix. The girls basketball team welcome a new head coach in D.J. Steinberg, who has high hopes for his new start in coaching. The wrestling team adds familiar faces of Eisenhower in the coaching staff, adding Jared Lindell as head coach and Easton Hedman as an assistant coach.
The boys basketball team for Eisenhower comes off an AA playoff berth last year that exited first round to Cambridge Springs with a 13-10 record. Eisenhower’s team lost three seniors from last year, including Curt Darling, Thakari Warren, and Jake Venman, who all had important roles as the seniors and as leaders of the team. Coming into this season, Coach Mangini has named seniors, Kael Hunt, Wyatt Lookenhouse, and junior, Kyler Black, as the three captains that look to guide the team into another playoff run. The team has been preparing in the offseason by having open gyms that are focused on shooting, defense, and lifting weights.
The Squire interviewed Coach Mangini about his practices. He mentioned, “In my opinion, the most important offensive skill is shooting,” therefore, he has had a focus on shooting repetitively in practices. Another key to practices has been defense. Coach Mangini hinted to starting a new defensive press to cause more turnovers and rush the other team. The team’s goal is to be in playoffs this year, be unbeaten at home, and win the region, which is achievable with this year’s talent.
Like the boys’ team the girls’ team is looking to have a successful season. The girls return five seniors who all have had a big impact on the team the last couple of years. The team finished with a 2-20 record last year. The team looks to improve from last year by adding a new head coach in D.J. Steinberg that recently was junior high Lady Knight’s coach. The team also welcomes a large freshman class that looks to be ready to play on day one of practices. Eisenhower’s Lady Knights start the season with a “backyard brawl” in Warren County against the Youngsville Eagles at Eisenhower.
Additionally, the Eisenhower wrestling team is looking to get back onto track this year. The wrestling team finished with a 11-10 record last year and are starting the hard work on the mats to fill the high hopes riding on this year’s team, and their new coaching staff is ready to take on the challenge. The Knights lost seniors Cael Black, Gannon Jaquay, and Josh Parker. Cael and Gannon both made states last year, while Cael placed seventh and Gannon did not place. The team returns six seniors that look to guide the younger wrestlers to another successful season. A senior that has wrestled all four years of his varsity career is Brok English. Brok is a role model to the wrestlers below him in age, Brok shared, “I feel that us older group of guys are good for the younger guys to look up at and follow.” Brok looks to not only guide them but educate them in being a student athlete as well. Jared Lindell’s Knights look to capture their first win against Corry at home this winter.
The Eisenhower Knights are gearing up for the start of the long, cold winter sports season. Best of luck to all the athletes and coaches competing and preparing night and day.