Gilroy and Mike Suarez certainly took their lumps last season.
The Mustangs went 4-19 overall and 1-10 in Pacific Division play in the 2016-17 season. Now they are back on the court with a lot of new faces and raring to get out there and prove what they can do.
Gilroy will feature one senior in Adam Thompson and five juniors and is still waiting for football players to return from their historic run this season.
“We told them this year the team is going to be tough. We’ve got to be more mentally tough,’ Suarez said. “I think for our younger guys, it’s going to be something they’re going to have to work on. We’re going to have to get some experience to gain experience to get better. They’re going to need to be patient because they’re going to compete against some great teams.”
Suarez said he is excited to have Thompson on the team because he is so coachable and is eager to learn more of the game.
“For those two guys, it’s really about gaining some varsity experience,” Suarez said. “We’ve only got two returners who have any varsity experience from last year.”
Mason Grumin is one of two returners on the squad and will by default have a ton of responsibility on this year’s squad.
Suarez said he expects Grumin to step up as a leader as a junior.
“This off season he has really worked on finding his voice. That’s one thing I’m really proud of him for is finding his voice as a leader” Suarez said. “He does a great job of leading by example.”
The other returner is Jaeru Are, who is also a junior and has shown signs of growth over the off season.
Suarez said they put in a ton of effort in the summer and fall and now that the season is here, the effort needs to bear fruit.
“Now it’s time to show them that hard work really does pay off and the preparation showed today from Mason. He’s the hardest worker,” Suarez said.
Suarez said his team is going to need to play scrappy, especially against teams who have more varsity experience among their players. He said he wants to see his boys turn 50-50 balls into 51-49 balls where the odds of getting a loose ball are more in his team’s favor than the others.
Gilroy will tip off Friday against Live Oak at 8pm.