Boys basketball teams just completed their opening week of tryouts and preseason practice. Kane County Chronicle sports intern Matt Puttin caught up with Batavia boys basketball senior forward Ryan Olson for this week’s Weekend Chit-chat. The following is an edited transcript:
What are the expectations coming into this season?
As a second-year varsity team member and in coach (Jim) Nazos’s second year, I think that the expectations are a lot higher. It took sometime last year getting used to the new offense. Now, since we have guys that are experienced with the offense, I think we are better prepared this year.
What are you most looking forward to in your final season of Batavia basketball?
We have a great group of senior guys. We have been playing together since the beginning of middle school. Being able to play with these guys for so long has been special. We are ready to compete.
What team trips are planned this year?
We have two total trips planned. The first trip is early in our season and that is to Quincy High School. Later in the year, coach Nazos just announced a new trip, and that is to Rock Island.
How is the team chemistry coming along?
Speaking as a senior, we have always clicked when we are on the court together. The juniors have been great. They are very adaptive and are hard workers. This team as a whole is a group that can bend and adapt to many different situations.
How do you guys plan on rebounding from a tough conference record last year to this year?
Quite honestly, we just have to grind out games. We see ourselves as a team that isn’t about the glitz and glamor. We will have to grind out games in order to get wins. We have to be the most fundamentally sound team in the Upstate Eight Conference. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of will. I know with this group of guys we will able to get it done.
What does the Ken Peddy Windmill Classic mean to you?
It’s definitely the front gate to our season. Starting off the year with this tournament is always a great event. The Ken Peddy Windmill Classic means so much more than the face value of the event. It is dedicated to a man that worked behind the scorer’s table during the Jim Roberts era. Mr. Peddy is a man that symbolizes Batavia basketball in the right way. Men like him behind the scenes is what makes Batavia basketball so special.
What is the matchup for Batavia at its annual Night of Hoops?
We will be playing St. Joseph this year, a very historic basketball program in the state of Illinois. St. Joseph is a tough team. They can score at will, they can defend well, and their players are long and athletic. It will take a really sound, fundamental game to beat St. Joseph.
What colleges are [you considering]?
I would really like to pursue a major in journalism and finance with a minor in political science. I am looking at Indiana University, University of Missouri, and the University of Illinois. Athletically, I would like to play baseball but I know that would have to be at a smaller local school in the area.
What is your prediction for the Batavia-Lake Forest playoff football game this weekend?
Batavia will win a close one, 32-29.