NHS Boys Hoops Preview
By James Hunter
Coming off of a less-than-satisfactory season for the Novato High School basketball program, the three boy’s basketball teams are ready for a fresh start. This includes some new, promising faces on the varsity, junior varsity, and freshman teams. With a combined regular season win total of 8 among all three levels, there is definitely room for improvement in overall play quality as well as win percentages.
This coming season will be the second year that Hornet’s coaches will be coaching NHS basketball, and second-year varsity head coach, Rob Barde, has a positive outlook for the current season.
“Novato Basketball is headed in the right direction and I’m excited about it,” Barde said. “I feel we are way ahead of schedule compared to last year, but we realized in losing to a couple MCAL opponents this weekend that we have some things we need to fix and improve on to beat other MCAL teams who are in the mix fighting for playoff spots like us. Overall, I’m very optimistic though, and believe we will make a big step forward as a program this year.”
This year, all three teams are already looking better than last year, as a result of coaching and new players. The varsity team lost a few seniors but also picked up the best performers off of last year’s freshman and junior varsity teams. These players hope to make great contributions to their teams and add more wins.
The JV team is in a similar situation. They lost a few players but picked up solid players like Miles Elkins, Ali Moshref, and more off of last year’s freshman team. This year’s freshman team has a full squad of new players looking to set the foundation for both a good season as well as future careers at Novato High.
So far, the varsity team has been doing everything they can to improve the NHS basketball program. They have been worked extremely hard over the summer, in their free time, and during the early season.
Sophomore Jason Carpenter, a second-year varsity guard, is looking forward to his hard work paying off this season.
“I think that the hard work we have been putting in everyday could translate to wins, but we just have to bring consistent intensity in our practices and game situations,” Carpenter said. “I think we can compete with every team in the league and definitely win a good amount of games. I’m excited to see what we can do with our experience and improved talent.”
Last season, Carpenter specialized in long distance shooting and ball handling. He looks to broaden his game, passing off the ball to open teammates for assists. Senior Colin Farrel, another starting guard for NHS, is an extremely well-rounded player that can handle the ball, attack the hoop, pass to open shooters, rebound, and guard some of the best opposing players.
The team also consists of other talented, lockdown senior players like Sam Lynam, Branden Taylor, and Marcus Orleans. All of the seniors lead the younger players on the team, both on and off the court. Juniors like Zach Leshin, Rishi Nachnani, Jason Graf, and Max Grabovac are also impactful players to watch. New additions Jamie Heath, Neil Knight and Albert Supradit also look to contribute to the varsity team.
Last year, the JV team had a similar year to the rest of the programs, and they are looking to improve this year. They picked up 10 new players that all are working hard to make an impact on the team.
Miles Elkins, a new face on the JV team, shared how he is feeling about the season.
“Last year we learned to compete and this year we will learn to win. We are at a huge turning point in our program due to the second-year coaching staff and the hard work we are putting in everyday,” Elkins said.
Last year, the freshman team played very competitively against many teams in MCAL as well as North and South of Marin. Although the record didn’t reflect it, many of the games played were lost by a very small margin, some by even one or two points. This proved to many past freshman players (now with the JV) that the team is able to be competitive and win games. This optimism will hopefully translate to wins in the regular season.
Alejandro Lopez, a sophomore, is also optimistic about the future of the JV team.
“I am very optimistic on the upcoming season. The tiny mistakes we made last year on the court resulted in losses, and I believe we have fine-tuned and improved our game a lot. I expect big things this year,” Lopez said.
This year’s freshman team is very similar to past years. It is full of new students that are looking for a great year on the court. Most importantly, the freshman program is going to lay the framework that the freshman players will utilize throughout the rest of their time at NHS and into their basketball futures. The freshman team also has a promising, new coach who is also a Social Studies teacher at Novato High, Evan Underwood-Jett.
All three teams at Novato High have a bright future in league play, and hopefully the work that all of them are putting in will pay off in the years to come.