Winter Sports Come to a Close

By Drew Mandeville

   As Eisenhower winter sports are coming to an end, many of the teams are poised for the post season. Both basketball teams look to send off their seniors with wins and a potential playoff run, while wrestling looks to keep developing their guys and allow them to win matches. Girls basketball found the impact of a new coach in Coach Steinberg and the team is succeeding with their mix of upper-classmen experience and talented underclassmen.

     Following a D10 playoff exit, the boys basketball team is currently sitting at a strong record, with an opportunity to make playoffs. senior captain, Kael Hunt, spoke of his goals to qualify for playoffs and win the D10 Championship. Hunt, who is homeschooled, but plays for Eisenhower due to living in the attendance area, commented on the strengths of the team, highlighting Eisenhower’s size and strength. Eisenhower has found success in recent years under head coach, Ryan Mangini. Hunt commented on the second-year impact of Coach Mangini saying, “He’s been amazing… he’s a great communicator and I always feel like I can ask him any questions I have. He’s a very smart coach and he knows what it takes to get to the playoffs.” As a graduating senior, Hunt shared some wisdom for younger players saying, “Put in as much work as you can. Always give 110% and never give up.” For this talented team, seniors Kael Hunt, Wyatt Lookenhouse, and Logan Fincher were recognized on February 10in a home game against Cochranton High School.

     The girls basketball team is also in a position to qualify for playoffs, even though they competed with a fairly young team. Senior, Mackenzie Dunn, commented on the girls’ new head coach, D.J. Steinberg, saying, “The impact of the new coach was good overall. He came in with different ideas and a different mindset, which led us to winning more games this season than in years past.” Dunn highlighted her goals, stating she wanted to work hard and work well as a team, despite the age gap between players. She’d especially like to  finish her high school basketball career with a winning record. She gave advice for younger players saying, “Even though it’s difficult to keep your cool when things aren’t going in your favor, hurt them on the scoreboard, not by drawing fouls.” Dunn provided insight on what she believed were strengths of the team, highlighting how the team can easily step in and help each other when their teammates falter on the court. February 6 was the Senior recognition night for Mackenzie Dunn, Haylee Irvin, Bella Marino, Lily Smyth, and Kaitlin Sleeman.

     The wrestling program kept a competitive edge in matches this season. Sophomore, Ryan Chambers, provided insight on strengths of the team, including helping each other and improving. The wrestling team is competing under the guidance of  a new head coach. Coach Johnson took over as Coach Black stepped down at the end of last season. Chambers spoke on the coaching change saying, “…our new coach has been working us hard because he wants us all to perform at the highest level possible.” Chambers shared advice for younger wrestlers saying, “Go out there and have fun, wrestle your heart out and at the end of the day you have nothing to lose, so just leave it all out there on the mat.” Chambers spoke of his goals he had, saying, “My goals for the season were just getting better day by day and giving it my all every match, along with paying attention and learning from my mistakes.” The wrestling team held senior night on February 1 to honor seniors, Mike Vanatta, Kam Ferrand, Conner Younger, Benji Bauer, Brok English, and Jake Blake.

     The Squire would like to thank Ryan Chambers, Mackenzie Dunn, and Kael Hunt for providing insight on their respective sports and would like to say good luck to winter sports finishing up. Stay tuned to W-IKE news for sports interviews and continued updates.

Photo Credit: Steve Younger

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