Basketball has long been a cherished winter tradition at Baylor, with this year marking the 112th season of Raider basketball. While COVID-19 has thrown unprecedented challenges at high school athletes, the varsity boys' basketball team has not let the pandemic get in the way of a fantastic season. The team is currently 9-3*, with the playoff season right around the corner.
Following two losses against Knox Catholic and Ensworth, the boys recently won 53-38 against Notre Dame at home. In a typical season, Duke Arena never fails to be packed to the brim with students, families, teachers, and other supporters. But a recent TSSAA rule prevents anyone except for coaches and players' immediate families from attending the game. Despite an empty stadium, the team triumphed with 22 points over Notre Dame, led by senior Troy Boynton.
Looking ahead, Baylor will face Mccallie on Friday, February 5th. Sophomore Evan Haynie is “ready to compete,” saying that the team has been preparing all season. While students cannot attend the games in person, fans have made sure to keep up with basketball despite the changes. Games are broadcasted live on Baylor Broadcast Network, and the dining hall has frequently shown the games to boarders during dinner.
This basketball season has been one of many uncertainties. But overall, the players agree that the challenges have made the team stronger. When reflecting on his last season as a Red Raider, senior Robert Morton says that he “wants to make the most out of the time he has left.” He believes that these challenges have made him a stronger player for nothing is guaranteed, so he is motivated to “leave everything on the court.”
For all senior athletes, COVID-19 has created another layer of anxiety for their final time at Baylor. However, in a time of unparalleled uncertainty, it is evident that the players have given every game their all and will continue to do so as the season ends.
*(Editor's Note: Since this story was written, the Baylor boys' team has improved their record to 11-3. Keep reading The Baylor Notes for updates on the season)