Boys basketball to play second game of season against Martin Nov. 12


Henry Pham

The team practices for its first game against Little Elm on Nov. 9. Head coach Eric Reil said the team’s preseason has mainly consisted of getting ready through using the weight room and getting healthier.

The boys basketball team will play against Martin High School for its second game of the season on Nov. 12 at 7:00 p.m. The game will be played at a neutral area at Legacy High School in Mansfield.

Last year, Martin was ranked second in its district, only beaten once by South Grand Prairie. 

“Arlington Martin is really good,” head coach Eric Reil said. “[Their] preseason rank [is] fourth. They’ve returned all five starters. They have two commits that are going to the University of Houston. It will be a good challenge; it will show us real quick if we’re as good as we think we are.”

The Hawks lacked experience last year with only  one senior and an underclassmen-dominated team. This year, many players are returning with more experience to take into this new season.

“I want to be tougher [this season],” senior center Isaiah Dixon said. “I feel like I was tough last year, but that was also my first year of varsity experience. Now, knowing how it is, playing at this level [and] coming back this season, I want to just improve that even more. [Having last year’s experience] is definitely better in the sense of I [have] that experience, [and now] I can navigate certain situations [better] than I would have last year.” 

While the team is in a better position than the start of last season, players still have areas to improve on. Junior point guard Cameron Mennsfield said last year, the team had a lack of leaders since most of the team were new to varsity. 

“This year, everyone’s helping each other since we all have [more] experience, so we’re better with leadership,” Mennsfield said. “I’d say [the leaders are] Isaiah Dixon, Jaden [Clemmons], Alex [Cotton] and me helping [because] we have a few new sophomores. I feel like we’re helping them and [getting] to know each other more.”

With the team’s strong bond growing over last season and continuing into this season, Mennsfield and many other players hope to improve on skills and go undefeated.

“Since we’ve been playing with each other for like a year now, we kind of know what each person does,” Mennsfield said. “We know what someone is good at and what they’re not good at, so we try to put them in better positions to be better prepared for games.”

Last season, the team finished the season ranked fifth in the district with a 7-8 record. Reil said hehopes for the team to improve enough to obtain a state title now that new leaders are recognized throughout the team.

“You’re always nervous that first game because you want your kids to play well,” Reil said. “You don’t want to be best at the beginning of the season –  you want to be playing your best ball towards the end of the season when you get into districts. It’s a building process; we set goals for our team and where we want to be by the time we have our first game, by the time we get through districts [and] by the time we get to [playoffs]. We don’t think we’re going to be playing our best ball [our] first game, but we definitely want to be playing our best ball by the end of the last game.”