BOULDER — The Jefferson Panthers boys and girls basketball programs have another tough season ahead of them in the Southern B, but both teams are poised to make a run.
For the Jefferson girls, they have two very important things going for them this year. One is learned.
“My core is back. I have all my stat leaders of the year are back from last year,” said girls head coach Karson Klass. “So that definitely helps us.”
“We’re looking pretty good,” added senior Aubrey McMaster. “We have three starters coming back, so that’s always good. We’re just working hard to get better every day, but I think we should be pretty good this year.”
And the other is God given.
“We’re a big team, for one, which is nice,” said Klass. “You can’t teach height. We have a senior that came out: It’s her first year playing, but she’s 6-foot-2 and she’s an athlete, so that’s always something good to have on your team.”
“We have 6-2, 6-0. It will really just help guarding those big girls in the post inside with rebounds,” said McMaster.
For the boys, head coach Clint Lanyng trades in his football coaching whistle for a basketball one. Different sports, but the approach remains the same.
“It’s a little bit different, but I think the competitiveness and playing hard every day should be the same in both sports,” said Layng. “But as far as Xs and Os and different things, yeah, it’s different, but it’s competition in both sports.”
And in both sports having a healthy team is important, an issue the Panthers are dealing with early on this season.
“We’ve got a couple of guys working their way back from injuries from football. They’re probably not back at 100 percent yet, but they are working their way back and we’re trying to fight through that,” Layng said. “And then just trying to develop some depth and just continue to get better.”
Getting better is a very likely outcome, because, even though the team isn’t fully healthy yet, it is made of athletes, which is the main ingredent of any successful program.
“I think that playing multiple sports makes you a better athlete. I mean, in the past I’ve had my best basketball players are football players a lot of times, or else they did cross country. Multiple sports is always a good thing,” said Layng.
It’ll be a great thing if the Panthers can start piling up wins.