With winter right around the corner, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams are preparing for their upcoming season.
The men’s team has been working year-round to improve themselves and has been practicing as a team everyday since Oct. 15.
“To prepare for the season we have been on a weight-training program as well as agility training with Coach Mike over at the Ratcliff gym,” said senior Zach Youngman.
On Nov. 15, the team will start off their season with a home game against Randolph-Macon College.
“We look forward to seeing all of the support our student body shows, and don’t be afraid to go wild in the Freeman Center this Thursday night when we take on Randolph-Macon,” said Youngman.
This will be junior Tra Benefield’s third year on the basketball team. He believes that the toughest competitors this season will be Randolph-Macon, Virginia Wesleyan and St. Mary’s College.
Christopher Newport University has not beaten any of these top 25 teams in Division III during the past couple of years.
“In order to get where we want to be, we have to go through these three teams because they are among the best in the country,” said Benefield.
With all of the practice put into preparing for this season, the team hopes to win the conference tournament for the second time in a row and compete again in the NCAA Tournament.
“You can expect an up-tempo type game being played from us with everyone running the floor hard. Also, we will outwork any team we play with our effort and energy,” said freshman Patrick Fehl.
Like the men’s basketball team, the women’s team works on improving year-round but began preparing as a team during the second week of school.
“We had preseason which included conditioning, pick up and weight lifting,” said junior Nicole Mitchell.
One of the team’s biggest competitors is Ferrum College. Last year, CNU lost to Ferrum during the Conference Championship.
“Our goal is to sweep Ferrum this year and to also renew the tradition of not losing on your home court,” said sophomore Camry Green.
The first game of the season will be played against Gettysburg College at the Marymount Tip-Off Tournament on Nov. 16. The following day, the team will play against Marymount or Bridgewater.
“You will see a lot more ball pressure and more three-point shooting attempts and makes, the game will be at a much faster pace,” said Green.
The women’s team’s first conference game will be a home game against LaGrange College on Dec. 1.
“Our team goals are to win the Conference Championship and make it to the NCAA Tournament,” said freshman Brandi Holland.
This season will be Green’s second year on the basketball team and she is most excited to play against Greensboro College.
“They beat us by a buzzer beater from half court and we would like revenge for that,” said Green.
Along with beating Greensboro College, Green has a couple of other goals for herself.
“My personal goal would be to lead the conference in rebounds and average a ‘double-double’,” said Green.