Woodson Basketball Reflects on Stellar Season

Anna Agosto, Feature Editor

Photos courtesy of Arush Kumar.

SWOOSH the basketball flies through the net, and applause fills the gymnasium as fans cheer on the Woodson Boys Basketball Team as they secure another win. With a record of 12-2, varsity Woodson basketball players and coaches are working together to adapt to new COVID-19 protocols and prepare for the upcoming district tournament.

“When you’re in the middle of the season, it’s more [important] to focus on the day-to-day improvement,” Varsity Head Coach Doug Craig explains. “One of the things we’re focusing on is the development of our players on our teams from week to week, just trying to keep getting better.” 

Photos courtesy of Arush Kumar.

One of the key factors in the team’s consistent improvement is the environment of practices. Coach Craig believes that “when you practice you have to have a group that… pushes each other to be better.” Because of this, Coach Craig attempts to have a lot of competition at practice in order to make it as competitive as possible while encouraging players to hold each other accountable for their effort. 

Varsity boys player Alexander Klein acknowledges the goals the team has been able to achieve because of this strategy. “For a team that is highly skilled offensively, our team lacked the needed [defense] to win close games,” he says. “We realized our lapses, and made it a point of emphasis in practice. Now, I would argue we are one of the best defensive teams in the district.”

Despite the team’s success, it has faced its share of hardships with the ongoing pandemic. Due to contact tracing, and other COVID precautions, the team lost five valuable team members during a tough road-game stretch. In addition, due to a change in FCPS guidelines, no spectators were allowed to attend the games, a huge difference from the stands packed with supportive fans at the beginning of the season. The team has also been refraining from participating in the usual activities off the floor in order to avoid taking unnecessary risks. This includes team dinners that would usually serve as an excellent way for the team to bond.

However, Coach Craig assures that morale remains high as the team “really [likes] being around each other [and] playing together.” Adding that for him “the best part is [always] when we have a group who enjoys being around each other [which] leads to a lot of success.”