Season preview: men’s and women’s basketball teams


Eli Tao

Women’s basketball are hoping to continue their streak of success in GSAC as the season begins.

Hunter Penn, Staff Writer

As the winter athletic season is fast approaching, the Westmont community is excited to see how our basketball teams perform this year. With many skilled new and returning players, both programs are expected to do well.

Josh Erikson, assistant coach for men’s basketball, was able to give a few words regarding the upcoming season. Erikson made a strong opening statement, saying, “We are always focusing on the short-term goals, winning each play-by-play, working on our ball movement, and developing [and] establishing our identity as a team. With reaching the potential of these goals, ultimately our long-term goals will figure themselves out.” Erikson concluded by adding, “we still have a lot more ahead of us, but we really want to maximize the guys we have, and show them how to better themselves every day.” 

Lucas Roth, a second-year player on the men’s basketball team also expressed his excitement. Roth began by saying, “My outlook on the season is to have our team become the hardest working, most unselfish team we can be. Another one of my priorities this season is to grow closer together as brothers while also growing closer to Jesus through playing basketball.”

Drew Ramirez going for a layup against their recent game against Cal Tech University. (Eli Tao)

Roth continued by explaining the ways he wants to better himself this season: “Some goals I have for myself are to be the hardest worker and the most supportive teammate I can be, while learning valuable information from our coaches and more experienced teammates. As a team we want to become tough and gritty on defense, while also staying unselfish and smart on offense.” To finish, Roth said, “Some things I want to stray away from this season is taking basketball and my team for granted. It’s such a blessing to be able to play with these men, and play for my coaches. I don’t ever want to take this season for granted.”

Additionally, the women’s basketball team is anticipating a hard-fought season. Stefanie Berberabe, a fourth-year on the team, expressed her excitement about the new talent on the team paired with building more lifelong friendships: “I can already tell that everyone on the team is determined and passionate about winning this season, but also pursuing and building relationships within each other. This group of women are so supportive of each other to improve their game, so as long as we do the work and stay united, the results will work themselves out.” 

Haylie Dermer, a second-year on the women’s basketball team, shared some insight about her feelings toward the new season: “Looking at the team we have this year makes me super excited for this season. We have all grown super close and it’s always the best time to be in each other’s presence. We’re all trusting in God and in our coach to lead us to having the season we’re supposed to have.”

Lastly, third-year Laila Saenz has a simple outlook on the season: working towards the goals she has set for herself and growing overall as a team, as well as straying away from any type of negativity. She mentioned, “I think as a student athlete, things like having low confidence, being overly stressed, and thinking I’m not good at my sport because I have a couple bad games, can force their way into our heads and it’s really easy to give into it.” Saenz also explained her relationship with God through the basketball season, “I’m constantly seeking my identity through Christ,” she said. 

The Westmont community is anticipating a fun and successful season for both teams this year. If you would like to support the teams, the next home men’s basketball game is Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. against Arizona Christian University and the next home women’s basketball game is Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. against Southern Oregon University.

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