ROCHESTER, Minn. - It is hard to believe the basketball season is already upon us but for the RCTC men’s basketball team, it is a reality.
“You know, you don’t put the cart ahead of the horse but I like where we’re at and I think we’re really going to have a chance to be a really good basketball team this year,” said head coach, Brian LaPlante.
After a heartbreaking loss in last year's Region XIII tournament quarterfinals, the Yellowjackets are focused and ready to hit the hardwood.
“It definitely gives us motivation,” said Karmoga Lero. “Last year we should’ve gone further than we did, unfortunately, we didn’t. But yeah, we use that – hold that on our shoulders this year as we go forward.”
Last year, injuries haunted RCTC putting the team’s five best players out of commission. This year, four of them are back and bring a lot to the table.
“Having the returners has been great because you don’t have to teach them anything,” Kong Kong said. “Most of the time we’re just letting the freshmen know what they can try and get better (at) every single day and these guys have been a wonderful group to try and help that.”
The Yellowjackets have already had two scrimmages this year and will host their third on Wednesday night. The team says they like what they are seeing so far.
“I think we’re clicking early,” Mickey Jah said. “We’ve played two scrimmages and came out with a pretty good record, 4-2 against some pretty good teams, some teams that were ranked last year like Rock Valley, so I feel pretty good. We’ve got good chemistry going.”
Fingers crossed, everything is pointing in the right direction for RCTC to achieve its big goal for this year.
“We all know the number one goal is to go ahead and win that natty but I mean we’re just taking it day by day, to be honest. One day at a time to see a better day,” said Antonio Maddox.
For Ray Adams, that better day will play out in front of his hometown on his home court.
“That would mean a lot man, especially for me because I’m from Rochester. It would just mean the world to be able to win at our home and bring one for the crowd and for the family.”
This team clearly has a statement to make.
“Stay tuned, RCTC boy’s basketball is going to make a lot of noise this year,” added Maddox.
RCTC is scheduled to open its 2019-20 campaign at home on Nov. 8 versus Bay College at 7:30 PM.