By: JOHN CANNON
(DONNA) – Former Donna High basketball player Adam Gonzalez knows exactly how the 2016 team feels.
Gonzalez was a member of the 2012 season that totaled just one win the whole season which is exactly what last year’s squad did.
“That was a rough season,” said Gonzalez. “We took our lumps and bruises that first year due to the fact that we were loaded with freshman and sophomores. It truly was a total learning process.”
But the following season, the ‘Skins improved drastically as they racked up 15 wins and the next year ended up getting into the playoffs.
“We worked really hard after that one-win season and each and everyone of us were determined to turn things around the next season,” said Gonzalez. “You could see the difference in us due to the fact that we were gaining experience and started to come together as a team.”
“Next thing you know, we made it to the playoffs two years later and the upward trend started from there.”
Gonzalez returned back to his alma mater over the summer and brought his knowledge of the game to the court as he and his former teammate Alexis Hernandez ended up coaching the basketball team over the summer.
Both Gonzalez and Hernandez brought their knowledge of the game and also relayed their past experiences to this year’s squad who won just one game in 2016.
“I always preach to the kids that the only place they can go is up,” said Gonzalez, who is the head coach of the Redskins summer team. “I tell them that they need to work hard and stay dedicated to the program.”
“Also, they need to motivate each other and communicate as well. If they continue to put in the work and do the little things that will make them a better basketball team, then they will see the improvement which will produce more wins.”
So far, the Donna High basketball team has shown a ton of improvement over the summer which is something that varsity head coach Manuel Epperson is happy to see.
“The kids are looking pretty good and I like the improvement and hustle from them,” said Epperson. “They are all working together as one and the little things that Adam and Alexis are instilling seem to be paying off.”
“These two guys are making time out of their busy schedules to give back to these kids and I am so proud of them. It shows the pride they had and also the kids on the team are able to realize that things can turn around just like it did for Adam and Alexis.”
Hernandez hopes that eventually the current Redskins can accomplish what he did in his senior season.
“I would love to see these kids bring home a district title just as we did in 2015,” said Hernandez. “That was the proudest moments of my high school career and we were rewarded by making history that year.”
“I tell the kids all the time that they have the potential to follow in our footsteps and eventually can bring home a district title just like my team did back in 2015. As long as they continue to stay dedicated to the program and work as hard as possible to be the best they can be, then there is no reason they can’t contend for the championship.”