The group of 12 boys that makes up the boy’s varsity basketball team grew up together and already formed a strong bond, according to head coach Brandyn Pedersen.
“I’m really trying to support and foster that bond in any way I can,” he said.
Pederson was drawn to basketball in his youth.
“My high school coach always told me it was a life too. As I grew up, I started using it as that and seeing the correlation between the sport and becoming a young man. It teaches accountability and through life, we are all teammates in some way, whether it’s coworkers, family members or friends.”
This will be Pedersens first year as head coach, however, he began coaching for Friday Harbor High in 2016. The goal first and foremost is to be united and lift one another up instead of tearing each other down.
On the court, Pedersen said, he wants to be the most conditioned team on the court. That goal requires team-by-in, and from what Pedersen has seen at practice, he believes the team is in. Another goal is to lead the conference in the number of charges taken.
“I would love to win the conference sportsmanship award, and I have already told the kids that,” Pedersen smiled.
The biggest challenge Pedersen sees for the team is themselves. “I feel like I am a lot more forgiving than they are. We really can be our own worst enemy,” he said. The bond with one another is one of the best things Pedersen sees about the team.
“They don’t care how many points one person scores. They really want to get better as a team,” he explained.
When asked who he saw as their biggest rival, Pedersen reiterated this year, the team is taking it one shot at a time, one game at a time focusing on the task at hand.
“These kids work really hard. It’s a big commitment but they are up for the challenge,” Pedersen said.
Their next game is against Orcas, Dec. 15, at Orcas High School. The next home game will be Jan. 12 at 4 p.m. against The Bush School.