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Gridiron to hardwood: Manhattan players building off championship football season

Manhattan High School Boys Basketball
Posted at 5:15 PM, Jan 13, 2021

MANHATTAN — The Manhattan boys basketball team is off to a hot 3-0 start this season, quickly emerging as one of the teams to beat, and it might be because of the Tigers' championship mentality.

Five of Manhattan's 10 basketball players, as well as head coach Wes Kragt, were part of this year's championship football team. Kragt served as the Tigers' offensive coordinator under head coach Chris Grabowska.

Not only did the Tigers learn what it takes to be a championship team this past fall, but their work in the weight room has added another element to their game season.

“Coming off of a long football season, I think he expects us to be working harder knowing we’re in good shape early on in the season," said Caden Holgate.

While being in shape has been a major advantage so far, the Tigers' team chemistry is where their success derives from.

“We’re a group of guys who have been together a while," explained Holgate. "It’s (Tate Bowler's) first year here, but he played with us in football, which helped build chemistry. I’d say it’s going very smoothly.”

"Playing with them in football you kind of know how they are (on the court), so it was big," added Tate Bowler.

Their team chemistry is what helped them go undefeated this past football season, and they’re on a mission to do the same this winter.

“That’s the goal going into every season, but obviously there are years where you know you have a better chance, and I think that’s one of those years for us," said Holgate.