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By Josh Schulte, Anamosa senior
ANAMOSA – The Anamosa varsity boys’ basketball team has started the season in historic fashion.
The Raiders are 10-4 and off to their best start since the 1993-1994 season. As a member of the team, I know we have enjoyed the recognition of such a phenomenal start. We are not only proud that we have begun the season the way we have but also the fact that we are succeeding for Anamosa.
We all love our town and representing our school in such a positive way. We enjoy playing in front of the big crowds headed by the large and fantastic student section we get at home games, along with our legendary PA announcer, Scott Werling, and the rest of the fans.
The fans give us great energy which helps us play harder and longer. Not only has the varsity started the season well, but the sophomore and the freshmen teams also have had a lot of success. The sophomore and freshman teams were 7-4 and 11-0, respectively, heading into the weekend.
The all around success in the basketball program comes from a “good group of kids,” Coach Kevin Barnes said. “All three groups play the game hard, the way it should be played.”
Having seen the sophomores and freshmen play, I can attest to Barnes’ statements because both teams practice hard and go the extra mile on and off the court to make sure they are in a position to win ball games.
The boys’ basketball program’s overall success stems from the lead of a successful varsity team consisting mostly of seniors and lead by Spencer Barnes. He ranks seventh in the state in points per game and has been recognized several times for his individual achievements, including Iowa Newspaper Association Player of the Week and a finalist for KCRG’s Athlete of the Week.
“The work we put in during the summer and my teammates and coaches,” Barnes said, are the reason for his personal achievements.
I asked Spencer why he thinks the season has gone the way it has and he thinks the hard work put in all off-season is the main contributor. During the summer, the varsity and many underclassmen came in for a couple hours each day to shoot and scrimmage.
“It is great to have such a good start, but we are focused on getting better every time we are the floor,” he said.
With about half of the season to go, the varsity is looking to get some more wins and a good draw for districts. Hosting districts is an achievement Anamosa has not been able to boast in years and the Raiders need just a few more wins to clinch that right. The varsity team appreciates the acknowledgment of the public and hopes to ultimately make it to state.
We believes we are on pace to do just that.
The sophomore’ team continues to win games due to hard work in the summer, according to Gavin Timp. Timp is a quality leader for the sophomores along with Drew Beall. Both have had their hard work pay off getting varsity minutes when needed. Timp said it feels good to have so much success with his sophomore team because it shows the work in the summer is paying off. He also said his individual success comes from the extra work in the summer and playing hard in games. He thinks the great student sections and fan turnout also help fuel the winning equation along with the freshmen contributions.
Many of the freshmen have gotten quality minutes in the sophomore games. Tyler Zumbach, Kolin Schult and Kyle Schepanski get the majority of the sophomore minutes needed to be filled by freshmen. They also have helped get the freshmen season off to an undefeated start.
I asked a group of freshmen why they have won every game and unanimously they said Kyle Sayre’s play has been a big factor. Sayre didn’t get much playing time in middle school, but putting in the time during the summer has allowed him to get on the floor quite often this yearand creating more options for the freshmen. Austin Hunt thinks the play of Schult, Zumbach and Schepanski was a big factor in winning games. The three played on an AAU team during the summer along with coming in to open gyms to compete against the varsity players. Schult said the summer work is the main reason for the freshmen’s currently undefeated season.
The Anamosa boys’ basketball success has been well deserved due to all the hard work and extra practice. The teams have a combined record of 28-8 and only strive to continue the work and win more games