Roberts and Co. Take Off

    More stories from Bennett Brase


    Matt Hagan takes a free throw.

    With the season off to a good start, Coach Roberts and the basketball team have high hopes for the future.

    It’s fair to say that everyone in the St. Dominic basketball circuit has been anxiously awaiting the start of the basketball season, lead by none other than new head coach Mr. Roberts. As with every new program, the players have had to adjust to new standards and coaching techniques, as opposed to what they’ve known in the past.

    “I’d say they’ve reacted pretty well,” said Coach Roberts.”They’ve had to re-learn everything as opposed to going through the same system that they’re used to, but I’m a teaching coach–that’s what I do–and I’d have to say that we’ve all been working really well together, and I’m really pleased with their effort and how it has paid off.”

    As far as living up to the hype, it’s safe to say that the boys’ 2-2 start, with wins over Warrenton and O’Fallon Christian, has taken a little pressure off of both the coach and the players, already having improved on last year’s season.

    “I’m just glad that we’re finally playing other people. We’ve been beating up on each other for a long time now and it’s great for me to see them having other competition that they can work against,” said Roberts.

    As far as the season ahead, Coach Roberts looks optimistic and focused.

    “There’s some tough teams on our schedule and there’s some teams that we know we should definitely beat, but you can’t discount any game. I really think there’s not a game on the schedule that we can’t win, though. There aren’t any games I look at and think, ‘that’s gonna be a long night.'”

    It’s not just Coach Roberts that feels confident about the remainder of the season; it’s unanimous among players that things are looking up.

    Jordan Stankoven takes a shot.
    Jordan Stankoven with the jumper.


    “I feel like we’re more of a team this year,” said starting senior Jordan Stankoven. “We’re more of a family, and we can count on each other to work together instead of just counting on one guy to score all our points. Every guy on the team has a real shot at making each game ‘their game,’ and I think that really sets us apart from last year.”

    The biggest thing on everyone’s mind at the moment, however, is the annual St. Dominic Christmas Tournament. Teams from all over the state come to showcase their talent, and the competition is always fierce, but the boys are ready.

    “I’m not nervous at all. I’m pretty excited,” Coach Roberts said.”Obviously one of the favorites is always Sikeston, and they were kind of our rivals at my last school, so it’ll be interesting to play them again. It’s just nice to be able to play over Christmas so we can stay fresh and maintain a high level of competition.”

    Legend has it that how a team does in the Christmas Tournament will determine how they do for the rest of the season. Many see it as superstition, but Coach Roberts says that there’s definitely a factual side of it.

    “When you’re in the tournament, it’s really a turning point, because by that point you’re almost into January. If you’re not doing well by then, you really gotta step your game up to be able to turn the rest of your season around. If you do really well, you’re obviously pretty well equipped to handle the rest of the season.”

    Things are beginning to turn around for the St. Dominic basketball program, and the upcoming Christmas tournament will surely be a solid indicator. While they have a lot expected of them, both Coach Roberts and the boys agree that they’re prepared for the tournament and the rest of the season.