The men’s basketball Chaparrals, currently ranked number 10 in the NJCAA, have undergone a tough season so far, having played some of the top ranked teams. The Chaps have managed to pull through with 10 wins and eight losses. The team still has 12 more games to go and hopefully it can keep this streak together long enough to make it through the season with their heads held high.
Jordan Dreiling, the head basketball coach who recently joined the Chaps this season, has hopes of leading his team into victory. When asked about how the Chaps have prepared for their season Dreiling said: “We are practicing hard for our upcoming games and my goal is to change the face of the team by working more on how much the team participates in volunteer work. Volunteer work has shown these Chaps how to give back to their community.”
Dreiling’s new philosophy of coaching seems to be paying off.
In the last month, the Chaps have traveled to Tucson, Arizona where they won two games against Westwind Prep and Future Prep and lost to Prima College by a slim margin.
“The team has been improving little by little; each victory overpowers the losses,” said the MC Assistant Coach, Nick Shaw.
In the month of January, the Chaps faced the Odessa College Wranglers. The two teams have played against each other before and it is a never-ending rivalry. On the Jan. 20, the Chaparrals took on OC in a heated battle.
Going into halftime, MC scored a half-court shot beat the buzzer, trailing behind Odessa by more than 2 points, making the score 35-33. In the second half of the game the Chaparrals stole the ball over 17 times; OC stole 25 times. In the end, OC triumphed, stealing the victory and winning by 18 points.
A dedicated Chaparrals fan Jovan Borunda said, “The members of the Chaps have only been playing together for a short time now, even though we lost against the [Odessa Wrangler’s] our team has been playing top notch.”
The MC players come from all over the world: El Paso, New Orleans, New York, West Africa, Toronto, and even Jamaica. These players have known each other for only a few months. They met in August and have been playing together since.
On the court it is a different story; the players act as if they have known one another since birth.
“Communication is what every good basketball team should have, and we are working on strengthening our bonds between players on and off the court,” Dreiling said. “The team has had its ups, but we are not stopping there, they still have a lot more to learn,”
The Chaparrals are focusing on finishing out the rest of the season strong, practicing and learning from the mistakes they’ve made in the past.
“Going into this season has been a great experience for me; the boys haven’t given me too much trouble,” Dreiling said.