What are the greatest aspirations for each sport team? No matter what level. No matter what sport. Each team desires and aspires to be the best and to hoist that championship trophy and the end of their season. The Santa Cruz Cardinals men’s varsity basketball team is no different.
Earning the title of “the best team” does not come easily. Its journey to the title will not be an easy one. The Cardinals play in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League (SCCLA) along with their rival Soquel High School, which also has a chance to play in the conference championship. The Cardinals could play Soquel four times this season.
First year men’s basketball Head Coach Patrick Jones is optimistic about his inaugural season.
Though Jones is coaching men’s basketball team, for the first time, he is not new to the Santa Cruz basketball program. After playing basketball and graduating from Santa Cruz High School he served as an assistant coach for the men’s basketball team 1993-‘96 and has spent the last 15 years coaching the Lady Cardinals varsity basketball team.
“The opportunity arose for me to coach the men’s team and I had to take it. I’m excited for us to grow together as a team first, especially during the preseason,” said Coach Jones. “We know that were going have to go through Soquel and the other schools to get the championship, but they’re going to have to go through us too.”
Cardinals’ basketball graduated nine seniors last year and has no returning starters. Their on court varsity experience lies in the hands of returning senior power forward Thatcher Sammet and their new transfer point guard sophomore Kiree Hutchings. Sammet played the sixth man for last year’s team and Hutchings was the starting point guard for Harbor High School.
“We have the advantage of long standing community support behind us but we’re hoping to increase the student support at our games," said Jones. "Hopefully even set up a student section for the home games.”
The Cardinals schedule will be informal during the preseason. Once the league games begin in January they will begin to calculate their path to the championship. Their games will be played either on Wednesday’s and Friday’s or Tuesday’s and Thursday’s.
They will also be hosting the 57th Annual Dad’s Club Tournament at the Santa Cruz Civic Center December 6-8.