A Season Like No Other

Kyal Corbett, staff writer

After putting in hours upon hours of hard work, the Wylie Bulldog boys’ basketball team ended its regular season on Friday.

Months before their season even started, many doubts arose for Wylie’s basketball program and its future. As Covid-19 spread throughout the U.S., it became unclear if any sports could be played because of the virus. However, near the end of the summer, new UIL guidelines announced that sports would continue for the 2020-20201 school year although there would be a variety of changes to how they would normally operate. Although things would be different, athletes across the state were overjoyed at the opportunity to play sports once again.

As the new school year got underway, so did practices for the basketball team, although the workouts were not like anything seen before. The new UIL rules stated that face coverings must be worn by athletes at all times when they are not on the court, so each player received a neck gaiter to be worn while on the sidelines. Practice times were also scheduled at different times that normal; there were instances when players showed up at the gym before the sun was even up. If these changes were not enough, there were even more in store for the team: They needed to find an additional five players to complete their roster. Seven players left the team after the conclusion of last season, so coach Greg Ruffin brought up Bradyn Reed, Harrison Heighten, Mark Fakhoury, Jaylon Florence, and Kazion Brown to join the varsity. The other members of the team are Dylan Jennings, Avery Brekke, Reagan Fulenwider, Colby Tanner, Luke Powell, Jahzair George, Noah Phillips, and Deandre Boon. With the team set, the Bulldogs were ready to begin their season.

The Bulldogs were led by three players all season long: Colby Tanner, Avery Brekke, and Dylan Jennings. Each of these players averaged more than ten points a game, which took a large amount of pressure off of the rest of the team in terms of offense. The Bulldogs played fantastic defense all season as well; the team as a whole caused 85 steals, and Avery Brekke grabbed an impressive 8.5 rebounds per game to act as an anchor to the squad. On two occasions, the Bulldogs outscored their opponents by at least 40 points, which shows just how fearsome the team could appear at times. However, the group lost 4 games by 5 points or less, which lowered their district ranking considerably and put them at 4-7 by the time district came around. However, the Bulldogs were unfazed, securing big wins against Abilene Cooper and Lubbock High to advance to the playoffs.

Although there were countless obstacles in the way, the Wylie Bulldogs proved that success is possible if worked hard enough for. We are all extremely excited to watch them play this postseason!

They play Amarillo High tonight in Slaton at 7:30. Good luck!