By Lila Moore, Staff Writer
The boys basketball team at the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) is right in the middle of their 2012-2013 season and are well on their way to a possible championship status.
This season has been a great success for the Beavers compared to past seasons. As of Feb. 6th, the team had won 16 games and lost five and they are currently ranked number one in the conference. The boys are working hard toward hosting and competing in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) championship tournament. In the past, the teams that have hosted the NAC tournament have had better chances of winning because of the home-court advantage.
Garrett Clemmer, a junior and business economics major at UMF, has played on the team since he first came to UMF and attributes the team’s success to many different factors. “I think that we have built on past years and learned from mistakes that have previously been made, and have learned a lot from past players. We have also started to put a lot more trust into our coach. Overall, we have just stepped up our game,” said Clemmer.
“The team’s chemistry is really good this year. We’re all really good friends outside of the team and that really affects how we play and work together on the court,” said Andrew Dickey, a junior and Community Health major.
The starting players are not the only ones who contribute to the team; the new players are major contributors to practice and the team spirit.
“The new guys are put in a hard spot, not getting a lot of playing time, but they make the most of the time they play and work really hard at practices which helps things run really smoothly,” said Sam Leal, a junior and Secondary Education-Math major.
The guys don’t only attribute their success to the players; the fans are a big part of it as well. “It’s a lot of fun to play for the people you know who care about you, your classmates and peers. It makes the game itself more fun. We love the energy coming from the stands; it’s such a good push,” said Clemmer.
The boys have seen their improvements in little things throughout the season, like the fact that they won against Bates, Bowdoin and Colby in the same season. “The first time to go undefeated versus the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) teams,” said Clemmer.
The games they didn’t win they used as a learning experience. “Losing to Johnson State on the road ended our winning streak and showed us how tough the conference really is and taught us to be ready for every game,” said Leal.
As playoffs come closer, the boys intend on continuing to work hard and not change their methods that are clearly working for them. This includes special team rituals they use for every game. “There’s an order to everything we do,” said Clemmer.
“Everyone on the bench sits in the same spot every game for superstitious reasons,” said Leal.
“We say the word ‘together’ at the end of every huddle, it’s kind of like our motto,” said Dickey.
If fans are interested in attending any of the games and don’t know when they are, please check the UMF athletics page for the schedule or call the athletic department at (207) 778-7147.