By Joelle Fisher

Staff Writer

Christmas break is filled with family, friends, holiday traditions and for many of our winter athletes on campus, a series of competitive games. Four winter sports teams spent their holiday breaks traveling near and far to compete against various teams throughout the country.   

The men’s basketball program played a series of games over its holiday break. The team traveled to Daytona Beach, Florida, to compete in the Daytona Beach Shootout in which they went 1-1 and traveled to Ohio to play in the Wooster Kiwanis Classic where they went 0-2.   

“We did have a wonderful team bonding experience traveling to Daytona together,” stated Sam Hargraves, head men’s basketball coach.   

“Having games over Christmas break helps me connect with all my teammates,” explained Ethan Apsey (‘18) 

“It is nice to be able to work on our skills and relationships together when we don’t have to be focusing on our school work as well,” added Apsey.  

Despite these distant trips, the team was able to play a few closer to home games as well. Overall, the team went 3-5 over the break, putting its record at 4-9 for the season thus far with many games to come.  

“We’ve had a very up and down season so far by playing very good at times and not so good at others,” explained Hargraves.  

“Our goal with the new year and remainder of our season is to try and find a consistent effort and confidence level because if we can do that we’ve got a chance every game,” added Hargraves.  

The women’s basketball team also had a series of games over its Christmas holiday, playing a series of games in Ohio as well as locally in Michigan.   

“It is crucial for us to play games over break because we would lose a lot of ground in our game if we took the entire 3-4 weeks off,” explained Abbi Phillipson (‘18).   

“Having these games allows us to continue to improve our game and improve our team chemistry,” added Phillipson.  

The squad concluded its break with one win and six losses, altering its record to 1-12 overall for the season so far.  

“Our record does not reflect how good we are and how good we are going to be,” stated Kris Johnson, head coach for the women’s basketball team.   

“Our goal is to continue to play for one another, the love of the game and for the pride of the program,” added Johnson.  

Other teams that were able to travel to warmer weather over the holiday include the swimming and diving team as well as the men’s wrestling squad.   

Swim and dive traveled to Deerfield Beach, Florida, and placed two out of two teams while the wrestling team traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, and Chicago, Illinois, to collect one win and six losses over its holiday.     

“We were able to train at four different facilities while we were down there and we even had the chance to do an ocean swim by the pier in Deerfield Beach,” explained Jason Lintjer, head swim and dive coach.