By Kambelle Ashmore
The Mattoon High School Varsity boy’s basketball team has a record of 8-17 in the regular season and a record of 2-6 in the Apollo Conference. They have had a tough season, but have pushed through the obstacles and have bonded as a team.
“They have become closer as a team. We have a good locker room, and everyone gets along well,” MHS Varsity boys’ basketball Head Coach Josh Forsythe said.
MHS senior Drake Jefferies and MHS junior Justus Donaldson both agree that they have become closer as a team and that they learn from each other.
“We have all grown as better players and have learned a lot too,” Jeffries said.
In addition, Donaldson believes the team has grown in terms of experience.
“At the beginning of the year, hardly any of our current members had any varsity experience whatsoever. Only two people on the team had significant minutes in the 2015-2016 season,” Donaldson said. “Throughout this season, many of us have stepped up to the level of play in a varsity basketball game.”
Although there have been improvements throughout the season, there are also some aspects the team still needs to work on.
“Consistency is the biggest thing. We weren’t consistent enough and we just have to get over that hump,” Forsythe said.
They also better their record for the regular season and the Apollo Conference next year.
“I wish to improve on our record. Things may not look good this year, but that doesn’t mean my teammates and I can’t turn around next year and end the season with an impressive record,” Donaldson said.
Both Jeffries and Donaldson have personal goals that they want to strive for this season and next season.
“I want to improve my defense and my overall skill of the game,” Jeffries said.
While Jeffries’ goal is for the rest of this season, Donaldson has a goal for next season—his last year on the MHS basketball team.
Donaldson wishes to win an Apollo Championship next season and has faith in his teammates who will be with him next year. He believes that others on the team want a Championship as well. They have nine sophomores on their team, and many of them have stepped up this year because of injuries the older players.
“Now that this season is coming to an end, I have confidence in our sophomore and junior classes to make an impact on the Apollo next year,” Donaldson said.