Cipriano’s Warriors Return To Basketball Court
SANTA ROSA – The Warriors hit the court Wednesday for their first practice of the season
“Depending on who you are, it’s nerve racking, it’s exciting,” said coach Johnny Cipriano. “I know I’m excited because I know we have a lot of youthful talent. I’m excited to see what they bring to the table.”
If it’s anything like last year’s bunch, the team’s in great shape.
The Warriors are coming off one of their best seasons ever. One that was filled with highlights like a last second win in the regional semis.
“It was crazy being able to watch Ryan (Perez) shoot that buzzer beater,” said sophomore Ray Davila. “Just going out there and cheering on Ryan and stuff like that.”
The Warriors would go on to reach the state’s final four. The program’s third trip under Cipriano.
For the returners from last year’s team, it’s an experience they won’t forget.
“It was fun playing on that team,” said sophomore CJ Ochoa. “Getting to learn from those guys. I learned a lot from guys like AB (Lozoya) and Ryan. They helped me a lot and helped me to improve a lot.”
The Warriors will be young this year. They’ve got two juniors and two sophomores back from their final four team.
But despite the lack of experience, the Warriors continue to aim high.
“That’s what makes us who we are,” said Cipriano. “No one in the school tells us, ‘We expect this from you coach.’ I just hate to lose so the expectations are high from within the program.”
“Last year’s team, as successful as they were, I wanted to be just as successful and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t make it back,” said Ochoa. “So it’ll be pretty exciting. Even though we’re young, we can still be very good.”
That’s why the Warriors can’t wait for their season opener against Edinburg North November 13. This team wants to show the Valley that they can play ball with the best of them.
“All of us have just been waiting for the basketball season to come,” said Davila. “Just being able to play basketball with our friends and all that.”