By Philip Kiely
The Grinnell men’s basketball team is ready to begin their 2016-2017 season, starting with their first practice on Oct. 20. They plan on improving on their customary model, and will be lead by team captains Julian Marx, Nicholas Curta and Michael Porter, all ’17. In addition, Coach David Arseneault Jr., has returned to the College from the D-leagues, the minor leagues of the NBA.
“The plan is to keep what has made us successful for years and years the same and just see if we can continue to build on that,” Arseneault said.
The team lost nine members from last year, but six first-years make up most of the gap.
“We have a lot of talent on this team, we have a lot of character. I think as long as we play hard and play together I think that we can have a really good season,” Marx said.
The team will continue to run “the system,” a strategy used since the mid-1980s. “The system” involves rotating players every 35 seconds. This makes sure that players are fresh, but the system requires a deep roster.
“We try to play as many guys as possible, and we try to sub in every 35 seconds while pressing and playing with high energy,” Marx said.
Grinnell is the only team in their conference that runs “the system.” The team also focuses on 3-point shots and high-energy, intense playing which gives the team a unique style. This strategy is a familiar contrast to D-league basketball for Arseneault.
“I’m just excited to be back in Grinnell, as a former student-athlete at Grinnell, and former coach at Grinnell, it’s good to be back in the place that I consider home,” Arseneault said.
The team has its first game Nov. 15 against Wartburg College and its first home game Nov. 19 against Silver Lake College.
“I hope the school comes out and supports [the team]” Marx said.
Swimming & Diving
By Merlin Mathews
The swimming and diving season officially began, marked with their first practice on Oct. 1. The team has a little over a month to practice before their first meet on Nov. 5 against Luther College.
But the greatest drive for many of the athletes isn’t one particular meet or rival school — it’s personal improvement and the improvement of the team as a whole. Chloe Briney ’17 mentioned that one of the big goals for the swim team this year is beating the team records that were set a few years ago that have yet to be broken.
“I just think that’s fun because you’re competing against your team and history,” Briney said.
Despite the team’s relatively good history, Assistant Coach Tim Hammond does not want to focus on doing well at each meet. Instead Tim Hammond, the assistant coach of the swim team, explains that expanding the team’s focus beyond a specific event creates a more compelling environment for the athletes.
“If we were to only focus on winning conference or only focus on beating one particular team … I think we would miss out,” Hammond said. “Encouraging the development and achievement of personal goals gives everyone something to work for.”
And that’s very important for the overall success of the team. Hammond and Summer White ’18 both stressed the importance of a personal commitment to success.
“To be a good diver, you have to be athletic, and you have to want to be a good diver. You have to want it,” White said.
Hammond has a similar viewpoint. “It takes … dedication to improve, because they need to train both inside and outside of practice.”
Focusing on individual goals can inspire that dedication and drive to improve.
“When we focus and support each other’s goals, I think it makes our whole team successful,” White said.
By Louise Carhart
As women’s basketball prepares for their upcoming season, they will use the success of the past year to propel themselves forward to a hopefully similar campaign. Faced with a tough schedule, the team has prepared on and off the court in the off season in the hopes of improving on their previous accomplishments.
“This year is different because everybody has one more year of experience, and teams in our conference know that any game against us is going to be competitive. We have to expand upon last year’s goals, as well as develop new ones in order to have a successful season,” wrote Daria Guzzo ’19, in an email to the S&B.
Moving forward, threats in the conference include Cornell College.
“I am most excited to play Cornell again this year. We went 0-3 against them last year (once during the conference tournament), and I know we all have had Cornell in the back of their minds while training. Our team always seems to be up for a challenge, and that is certainly what Cornell gives us every time,” Guzzo wrote.
Off the court, the team has been training through lifting programs, speed and agility sessions and open gyms that help improve on fundamentals and increase team bonding and communication. This communication and unity are incredibly important to the team, as they hope to put forward a group that is able to perform when it matters and develop to the best of their abilities.
As for this year, goals, improving on their past season and continuing their success is important.
“I want to see our team go to Conference Tournament again this year. It was a great experience last year, but there is still more work to be done! I want to see our team build on the momentum we had at the end of last season because we definitely thrive off energy,” Guzzo wrote.