Tip-Off to the basketball season

The season is starting for boys basketball. This year the team has a new varsity head coach and is ready to get started with Tip-Off Madness.

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Tip-Off to the basketball season

A group of players gather with the coaches and discuss what they can expect from this practice.

A group of players gather with the coaches and discuss what they can expect from this practice.

Abbey Humbert

A group of players gather with the coaches and discuss what they can expect from this practice.

Abbey Humbert

Abbey Humbert

A group of players gather with the coaches and discuss what they can expect from this practice.

Abbey Humbert, Staff Writer

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The swish of the ball in the net is soon to begin for the boys basketball team. The team has a fresh start with a new varsity head coach, Brent Mork.

Coach Mork started his coaching career in 2003. He began coaching at a high school level while he attended the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. Then he went on and coached at a college level. For the last seven years, Mork had been coaching at Stevenson High School. Four of those years were spent coaching boys basketball as the assistant varsity coach, with two years of coaching golf. Mork took the past year off from coaching because his family expanded and something needed to give, he said.

In addition to being the new varsity coach, Mork is a driver’s education and physical education teacher at LHS.

Assistant varsity coach Richard Kolze has been coaching at LHS for three years. Three years prior to coaching here, he coached at Washington High School on the south side of Chicago. Kolze had only positive comments to make about Mork.

“I think he does a great job of communicating expectations,” explained Coach Kolze. “He lets the guys know where they’re at, what they need to work on, and what they are doing well. Being an ex-player, I appreciate that and seeing that in a coach.”

Coach Mork was not sure if he wanted to get back into coaching after his year off. He was expecting to coach his daughters in the future, but not necessarily a high school team. The position at LHS opened up after former head coach Scott Bogumil resigned last spring. Mork debated whether or not he was going to apply. He heard about the position through a good friend who works in Stevenson’s athletic department. They talked about it and decided that the job might be worth taking. Now that Mork has earned the job, he is prepared to take on the challenges that he might face with a new team.

In order to make a team run smoothly and reach its highest potential, a coach needs a lot of help from his support staff, Mork said.

“No coach can ever do this job by themselves. It’s really, really difficult. And we need kids who want to work hard and who want to get better. And as long as the kids have the desire to get better, then coaching is coaching,” says Coach Mork.

Coaching at Stevenson allowed Mork to become familiar with the LHS program. With last year’s record being 15-13, both coaches stressed that last year is not a determining factor for how this year is going to be.

“I like to think that as long as the guys continue to do what they are doing, as long as they continue to work hard, that success will follow,” says Coach Mork.

Both Coach Mork and Coach Kolze don’t quite know what to expect of this year. They believe if the team is focused on where they want to end up, then they can accomplish anything. The Wildcat basketball team will soon be ready to take the court. The first game is Dec. 3 against Marian Central High School at LHS. Tip off is 7 p.m.

That might be the first game but the season will unofficially start on Friday, Nov. 20, when Libertyville is hosting Tip-Off Madness.

This event was started by the WBBA (Wildcat Boys Basketball Association) with a vision of bringing the community together because of basketball. Tip-Off Madness kicks off the start of the boys basketball season and is an opportunity to introduce new teams and new players to the community. This is the third year that Libertyville has had this event.

Fans who attend can watch the boys scrimmage and have a  chance to win contests. Free pizza from Jet’s Pizza will be available. Plus, there will be performances from LHS cheer and poms. There will be personalized mugs from How Impressive! and Bulls tickets given away at the event. All this will be held in the main gym, and the doors open at 5:30 p.m.

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