OHS boys basketball restores pride


Photo by True Van Dyke

Michael Simcoe, sophomore, dribbles the ball up the court with determination.

True Van Dyke, Features Editor


As an integral part of OHS, the boys basketball team is making a point to stand out and prove themselves this 2022-2023 season. Challenging themselves with a new set of goals and standards, the team has set themselves off on the right foot, integrating what they do off the court onto it. 

Ending the season as fifth in the region and eleventh in the Open, boys basketball is finishing it off proud of what they have accomplished this year. 

“This year we’ve bonded better and we [work] well together, and obviously our record is better, we’re ranked higher in the state, and overall we just work harder,” said Michael Simcoe, sophomore. 

A team cannot be motivated if their coach does not lead them in the right direction to start with, and the boys head coach has done just that by making an achievable plan for the team’s success. 

“We’re seeking to be the best versions of ourselves, we can take it day by day, and hopefully get better every single day; we film everything, we chart a bunch of things, [we] set mini goals throughout the year,” said Josh Cole, head coach. 

Everything proved on the court is a result of the effort put in outside of it. From challenging practices twice a day, to off season training, the players are constantly working on improving not just themselves, but the team as a whole. 

“Our teamwork and team chemistry have gone together a lot, and we’ve improved by pushing each other in practice more everyday,” said Dallin Clark, senior. 

Even with the continuous wins and  passion for the sport, it takes a certain mentality to push for success one-hundred percent of the time. 

“You just have to be mentally tough, and know that you’re working for something, and that you’re working for a better outcome, so you have to come ready everyday,” Simcoe said. 

For some on the team, this is their last season of high school basketball and there is a different kind of hope knowing that four years of effort is condensing into one final opportunity. 

“Just knowing that I put in years of work, [and I’ve] prepared, so there’s no reason for me to not [push forward],” Clark said. 

The seniors, and other leaders of the team, are setting the path for the rest of the players and mapping out the collective goals for the remaining part of the season.

“Some of our seniors have set some goals that we want to make the open, we want to win the region; we say a lot, we want to do something that’s never been done at O’Connor,” Cole said.


The boys JV team may have had a rocky start to the season, but that is not stopping them from being just as motivated, and having just as many goals as their mentors on the varsity team.

“We started off the season kinda rough, so I really just want to get some games, get some wins,” said Connor Skinner, sophomore. 

A part of succeeding is being responsive to not only the other team members, but the coach as well.

“We got a fun group of kids, I enjoy the kids; they care, they allow me to coach them, to coach them hard, they don’t take things personal,” Cole said. 

Even though the collective goal is just as important as any individual one, the work ethic and consistency of a player ultimately falls on themselves, an extremely integral part of creating a united and powerful team.

“Effort; that’s one of the things I can control, so if I give 100% and I fail, I can’t be upset with that,” Skinner said. 

Creating a well oiled l team is nothing if the players are not together, proven by their tightly knit bond that only grows as the years go on, rising on the back of their success. 

“Hanging out with the team, it’s really like a brotherhood, we are all just really good friends,” Skinner said. 


Going into his second year of coaching, coach Cole has already made a reputation for himself, and the school as a whole, rightfully giving it the justice it deserves.

“I just trusted the coaches; I really came here because I thought coach Cole and all [of] them really believed in me,” said Amare Runyon, freshman.

From the newcomers of the team, to the ones who have been there since the beginning of Cole’s role here, there has been a foundation of trust built into his leadership and the OHS basketball program as a whole.

“It makes it cool when your players, and your leaders buy into what you’re saying, and they trust it,” Cole said. 

The team is unified throughout, welcoming the freshman, and sending off the seniors with pride, and setting up each of their futures successively from the moment they join the OHS basketball team. 

“A really good group, we got some good leadership from guys that are young, so a lot of stuff gets policed where I don’t have to be the bad guy; we talk about the standard a lot, and a lot of the guys can hold themselves to that, and they hold their teammates to that,” Cole said. 

Motivation throughout a team is a turning point in the hope for their future, and you can never start too early in setting off determination and passion for the sport. 

“That’s probably our ultimate goal, is to do something that’s never been done here before; it’s never really been known as a basketball school, so that’s something that we’re aiming to do,” Cole said. 

The O’Connor basketball team does not start or end with the freshman or varsity team, but represents the school as a whole. This year is a year for new beginnings and bringing a new hope to fulfill OHS’s competitive reputation. 

“[I want] my team to win, myself to win, all of us to win,” Runyon said.