By Brenna Eller
Opinion Page Editor
The Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team has a record of 26-5 so far in the season. Who do they have to thank, at least in part, for their drive and hard work other than each other?
Well there is a group of male HutchCC students called, “The Scout Team” that could answer that question.
Blue Dragons coach John Ontjes decided to push the girls and make them work harder, so his idea was to find a group of male HutchCC students who aren’t doing collegiate athletics, but played in high school or were involved in athletics, and practice plays and defensive strategies with the girls.
Before games, the male students scrimmage the women’s team to boost their skills and abilities.
Sara Cramer, a freshman guard from Dighton, said, “It makes us tougher by raising the intensity of practices because they never let up.”
Ti Kimbro, a redshirt sophomore, mentioned how much fun the boys are.
“They make us want to play, and they get us hyped up when we don’t feel like practicing,” Kimbro said.
In addition to that, freshman Coretta Hopkins said, “Shout out to my boy, Chase Swanson.”
If that doesn’t explain the relationship the guys and women’s basketball team have with each other, not much else would.
One of the HutchCC males that helps the girls is Chase Swanson, a Buhler graduate. He began doing this because he knew the coaches growing up. His dad, Ryan, was a coach at HutchCC. He also works in the AD office under Josh Gooch and Steve Kappenman.
Since Swanson spends so much time with them, he was more than happy to accept the offer to become part of the “Scout Team”.
“I had been injured a lot my senior year of high school and couldn’t play, so it was a chance for me to get back to it,” Swanson said. “Plus, all of the girls are really nice and funny, so it’s really relaxed at practice and we joke around.”
Swanson also said that he wants to participate again next year.
The scrimmages are not YMCA kind of basketball, it’s like watching an actual basketball game. One of the assistant coaches creates plays for the guys and tells them what to do, while the other assistant coach calls plays for the Blue Dragons.
With the agility of the boys, and the intuition and teamwork of the girls, it makes for a healthy competition. The boys are expected to play rough, so the girls have to push themselves and challenge themselves in a way that other women’s teams won’t likely be able to do.
“They’re the best people we’re going to play against”, said sophomore guard Tia Bradshaw.
When asked how hard the boys push the girls and how they make the team better, Cramer answered, “They have more skill set and it brings a lot of diversity.”