Sports Outlook: Stags Basketball
The Stags basketball squad has traditionally been one of the strongest CMS teams and is currently settling into their 2013-2014 season. In a recent conversation with Junior guard Jack Grodahl (CMC 15'), I got to hear the inside scoop on topics such as team dynamics, rivalries, and of course, PP vs CMS games. For those who don't know Jack well, he does an excellent job of balancing a humorous disposition with modesty and sincerity. When not on the basketball court, Jack can be found giving enthusiastic hellos and lounging in Boswell dorm. Jack was eager to share his thoughts with the Forum, and as always, was very kind and enthusiastic throughout the process. Forum: Each sports team is different each year. Talk a little bit about how this team differs socially from years past, if at all. Do they bring a different attitude to practice? to games?
Jack Grodahl: This is probably the closest team we've had since I have been here. From top to bottom everyone is pretty good friends and we spend a lot of time together off the court. Because we probably have more talent this year and everyone wants to play, practices are probably a little more competitive this year than they have been.
Forum: Each sports team has different approaches to leadership. Do you have captains? if so, how do you feel they've been so far? what are their strengths?
JG: Our captains this year are Tyler Gaffney and Remy Pinson, and they have done a great job of holding everyone accountable. Remy is more of the vocal guy who brings a lot of energy to practice every day, and Tyler leads more by example. Tyler knows the game really well and he has done a really good job of coaching some of the younger guys and bringing them along.
Forum: Of the 4 games played so far, were any of the results surprising to you? why?
JG: I was a little surprised by how poorly we shot against Pacific, but that happens in basketball and I think we still competed really hard. I think we all expected to win a lot of games this year, so losing early on in the season was a bit of a shock.
Forum: Which SCIAC teams are your biggest rivals and why? Any predictions for your games this season?
JG: Our biggest rival is obviously Pomona, but Redlands has beaten us a few times over the last couple years so there's a rivalry there. Those teams, along with the rest of the league, will be tough to beat, but if we're playing together and playing hard then I like our chances.
Forum: What's been the most exciting moment thus far, and what do you expect to be the most exciting moments this season?
JG: The most exciting moment for me was probably winning at Willamette. It was a game that went down to the wire, and I was playing in front of some family and friends from back home, so that one felt good to win. Like most years, I think the most exciting games will be between us and Pomona. It's the last year we'll ever play at Ducey Gym, so I am hoping for a good turnout for that game.
Forum: Specifically on the topic of PP games, how does your squad respond to the large crowds, cheers, and such? Does the adrenaline help or hurt?
JG: I think everyone has a little more adrenaline for that game, so it's important that we all try and slow down a little bit and play under control. It's a lot of fun to play in an atmosphere with that much energy, but it can hurt your performance if you forget to execute and play the way we practice.
Forum: Last year you hit 6 consecutive three point shots at the Pomona Pitzer game. From where I was standing, that was wild. Any thoughts on that night specifically?
JG: That was a lot of fun. I never really shoot that well, so I was lucky to have a good shooting day that game. It sounds cliché, but that was mostly because of my teammates. I did not really create any of those shots myself. I was lucky that Cody [Mivshek] and Remy and the other guys screened well for me and passed it when I was open.
Forum: With the standout exceptions of Pomona-Pitzer games, If I were to come to just one CMS basketball game in the remainder of the regular season, what would that be?
JG: If you were not to come to the Pomona game, I would say you should come to the Whittier or Redlands games. They will both be tough teams for us to beat, so they should be exciting games.
Of their four non-SCIAC games so far, the Stags are 3-1. As CMS students and fans, we can look forward to an exciting season, and make it to as many games as possible. Go Stags!