Men’s Varsity basketball is experiencing its first season that’s not under the guidance of coach Jay Blossom.
For the past 20 years, Blossom has been the head of the basketball department, building deep connections with the players and working as Varsity head coach.
Following Blossom’s retirement, former assistant coach Justin Mathes will step up as head coach.
The basketball program has become quite acquainted with success throughout Blossom’s duration as head coach. During Blossom’s reign, the team made it to the State championship three times, coming home with a win every time. Blossom was known for his high energy coaching style and his powerful passion for the game.
While this season will be Justin Mathes’ sixth year working with the WGHS basketball program, as he joined in 2013 as a JV coach, it will be his first year as head coach.
Former players have high hopes for the coming season and for Matthis’s future as head coach.
“I don’t think it’s [anything] new for Mathes. It’s just one step up. He’s a good coach, a great coach. . . we just have to wait and see,” senior Jerquon Conners said.
Junior Anthony Phiffer has played Varsity basketball his entire high school career. When he started, he was under the guide of Blossom. Despite spending years with Blossom as his coach, he has high hopes for the future under Mathes’ hand.
“I feel like Coach Mathes is taking an important role, but I feel like he’s gonna live up to it because Coach Blossom is watching him.” Phiffer said.
Blossom also has high expectations for Mathes and is sure he is more than capable of leading the team to success and continuing their legacy.
“I think he’s going to do great. He’s been part of the program for six [or] seven years, played a major role in our success; he’s a great teacher. . . he’s a perfect fit for the job,” Blossom said about his beliefs for Mathes.
In terms of the future of Mathes’ career as head coach, expectations are also high. The team has some strong underclassmen who seem to have lots of potential, sophomore Matthew Enright and freshman CJ Lang being two very promising underclassmen according to their teammates.
“We have a couple [underclassmen] stepping it up, CJ he’s playing a big role on the team.. . and Matt [Enright] as well. It’s a good team,” Conners said in regards to how the program will be with newcomers.
This is Jaden Fields’ first year on with Echo publications, but she took journalism the year prior. She’s very excited for what the year will bring.
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