Mustangs Dribble Their Way Into The Upcoming Season
By Alina Yamin
The Men’s Varsity Basketball team had an outstanding season last year. The men’s record was 20-7, and they went undefeated in the Blue conference, which included the schools Amundsen, Steinmetz, and Senn. The men also won their Thanksgiving tournament for the first time ever. In this tournament, they played Amundsen, Pritzker, Guerin Prep, Rickover, and Chicago Academy.
However, the men’s success in the blue conference has allowed them to move up to the White-North conference this season. The new conference includes more competitive schools. This year, the White-North conference teams are Walter Payton, Von Steuben, Foreman, Taft, Schurz, Lake View, Marine Leadership Academy, Mather, and Alcott. Many Northside alumni will be missed this season, specifically the star players, Benjamin Morris., Benjamin Rosengard, and Charlie Guthman.
Despite losing some great players, the men’s team still has strong leadership and pure talent. Coach Matt Rollins, head coach, will be returning for a second season. Campbell O’Conor, Adv. 903, says, “The team took a really big jump with Rollins as head coach last year. He is bringing in some other great coaches this year to help and I think that having him for a second season will really increase our team’s organization, as everybody is now much more familiar with his fast paced system.” The team has senior Danny O’Connor, Adv. 901, and, junior Jack Vasilopoulos, Adv. 006. These two are varsity veterans and will carry the majority of the team’s offense. Seniors Dino Konstantinidis, Adv. 908, and O’Conor, two of the team’s most aggressive defenders, and three-point weapons will also be back. Look for Campbell to be scoring around 15 points a game with assists from floor general junior, Jacob Trick, Adv. 006. Senior Jonathan Lee, Adv. 911, is also looking to have a breakout season as a post technician alongside powerhouse junior Jack Newhall, Adv. 004. In regard to the upcoming season, Vasilopoulos says, “We are very excited to be playing in the White-North this year and are confident that we can win it.” O’Conor says, “I’m most looking forward to the games against Niles West and Payton this year. Payton is always a good rivalry and Niles West should be a good competitive game.”
In order to prep for the upcoming year, the men had an intense pre-season. They were in a summer and fall league and had many open gyms. Once school started, the team had an open gym every Monday and Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. These open gyms allowed returning players to compete with each other and to get better. The open gyms also offered an opportunity for new players to meet the coaches and have the coaches see upcoming talent and help them develop. Approximately 35 prospective players attended each open, so they were packed and competitive.
In the past, the men’s home games have always been filled with Northside students and parents. Last year, one of the most exciting games of the season was against Lane Tech, despite Northside having lost 69-62. This year, the first home game was on Monday, Nov. 7, against Chicago Academy. Make sure to come out and support the men’s basketball team this season as they strive to have another successful and memorable season.