Greater than the last: A Centennial basketball preview

Ahead of their home opener tonight against Atholton, the Centennial boy’s varsity basketball team is looking to live up to the high standard set for the program throughout the years.

A season-ending regional championship loss to rival Marriotts Ridge back in March added fuel to the fire for this year’s team. Senior point guard Ty Beck-Winter expects to improve upon last year because the players  are aware of their “talent and mindset to become regional champions and beyond.”

Another improvement noted by Beck-Winter is “the overall depth of our team and having a better understanding of what we need to do. We feel like this year, having a winning culture is what will set us apart from last year’s shortcomings.” Beck-Winter is looking to make the best of his final season with the Eagles, leaving the team to play at a high standard. 

“The end goal is always to end the season with a win at the State Finals,” Beck-Winter explains “I want my final year to be memorable and an experience that I will cherish forever.”

One way the team will excel to their full potential of achieving a state championship is through the leadership of head coach Robert Slopek, who has 8 years of coaching experience at the collegiate level with the Stevenson University women’s team, along with many opportunities around the Eagles basketball program since. 

In his first season as the boy’s varsity head coach last season, he took the team to the regional championship. He hopes to return there again this year with major help from the previous seasons returning starters and key contributors from the bench.

Coach Slopek mentioned Ty Beck-Winter and Tyler Longwell as the “senior leaders” for the season. Along with them, he also named Adrien Nyom and Charlie Crabtree as “juniors who we expect to play major roles,” and sophomore Josh Frazier as a player from whom Slopek expects big things. 

According to Slopek, “Our guys have all worked very hard this offseason from team camp in June to fall league in August. I think any of the players could have a great year. We are excited about all of their work ethic right now.” 

With seniors looking to end their high school basketball careers on a high note, substantial expectations have been set for them. But throughout the team, there seems to be no doubt that they will live up to them. Come out and support the Eagles when they take on the Atholton Raiders tonight at 5:00 for the home opener of the basketball season!


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