As the winter sports season starts to gear up, the Arlington boys basketball team looks to capitalize on their success from last year.
Last season the Eagles were led by their senior captain, Jaren Cary, and a sensational core of junior players on their way to an 8-4 league record, 17-9 overall. After battling through the 3A District Tournament, Arlington’s season ended after losing in the State Regionals. During the offseason the Eagles lost three seniors but return almost their entire varsity roster.
“We have a lot of height, strength and length. It’s exciting to be able to add things into the game because of how athletic these guys are. We have great respect for the other teams in our league, so we’ll need to combine our athleticism with our IQ out there,” said Arlington Head Coach Nick Brown.
This season the Eagles load up with seven senior players as they will be led by Anthony Whitis, Josh Gutierrez and Griffen Gardoski. Whitis had an incredible junior year as he finished as a first-team All-Wesco point guard. Arlington will look to him to run the offense and create for everyone all over the court. Gutierrez, starting wing, grew a lot over last season as he developed a reliable shot from beyond the arc and flashed some incredible athleticism. Gardoski will be sidelined for the first few weeks of the season with a broken hand but will be a huge asset when he returns. With his size and scoring ability, Griffen has the potential to dominate matchups all season.
Arlington has a huge advantage with size as Will Abram and Max Smith will dominate the paint all year. Abram, 6’9” center, and Smith, 6’6” forward, should be able to crash the boards and lead the Eagles in second-chance points.
Michael Tsoukalas, sophomore guard, and Quintin Yon-Wagner, freshman guard, will come off the bench for the Eagles. The young duo is extremely athletic, and it should be fun to watch them fly around on both ends of the court.
“Everyone has been stepping up early on and showing that they are willing to work hard. We want to be in the top three or four in our division and every year the goal is to earn a league title. Some years are harder than others, but I think we are right up there with the best teams,” said Coach Brown.
If you want to support the Eagles, their first home game of the season will be against the Anacortes Seahawks on Friday, Nov. 30, at 7:15 p.m.