The student news site of Oviedo High School in Oviedo, FL

Oviedo Journalism

The student news site of Oviedo High School in Oviedo, FL

Oviedo Journalism

The student news site of Oviedo High School in Oviedo, FL

Oviedo Journalism

From transition to triumph: Oviedo Boys Basketball thrives

Both new and old faces bring success to the historic program
Diego Lara
Time out: Head boys varsity basketball coach Ian Young talks game strategy to the team during a time out in a home game against the Lake Brantley Patriots. The Lions ended up beating the Patriots 48-31. Senior Caleb Pennyfeather contributed to the win with 12 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocks.

From the addition of a new head coach to acquiring multiple new transfer players, the Oviedo Varsity Boys Basketball team may look a little different this year. Despite having to go through such a substantial transition in the preseason, the Lions – both old and new – have managed to maintain and honor the success of Oviedo’s historical Boys Basketball program in the regular season. 

The program welcomed head coach Ian Young, an Auburn University basketball alum and former 13-year overseas professional player, along with players Ethan Diaz, Cameron Bryant, and Caleb Pennyfeather over the summer of 2023. The new Lions have not only contributed to the team’s success this season, but have made their mark on the program as a whole. 

“The vibe in general is completely different and we’re more of a team than last year”, senior point guard Hunter Havercamp said. “Everyone gets along, we don’t really have problems, and if we did we would fix them”.

Seniors Trenton Wollmer, Alex Harper, and Havercamp are members of the starting lineup that have been on the team for their entire high school careers, so they have seen their team go through three years worth of changes. 

“Since Coach Young has taken over, we’ve become a lot more of a disciplined team,” Harper said. “Coach Young knows what he’s talking about. He brings his knowledge to us and makes us better.”

The Lions began the regular season with a four-game win streak before losing to Orlando Christian Prep. The same pattern continued twice, as they lost to Edgewater, who is ranked in the top 15 in Florida, The First Academy, and Seminole after two overtimes, after the Lions had three different four to five-game win streaks. 

“The losses humbled us and made us realize how much harder we need to work to make it as far as we want to go,” Wollmer said. 

One of the Lions most notable wins was taking down their cross-town rivals, the Hagerty Huskies, at Hagerty High School with a score of 79-56. This broke a two-game losing streak for away games against the Huskies, fueling the competitiveness of the notorious rivalry.

“[The wins] are a testament to the guys and their abilities and skill,” Young said. “They’re willing to listen and everyone is reaping the rewards.”

The next week, the Huskies paid a visit to Oviedo’s Robert W. Lundquist Gymnasium for a highly anticipated second matchup of the season. The Lions beat the Huskies once again with a score of 77-50, completing the two-game sweep. 

“Since Coach Young came here he made me realize I had to work on my game to get better,” Harper said. “He’s always told me that if you go hard in practice it’s going to show in the games.”

In order to bring about such a successful regular season, Coach Young implemented everything he did as an all-SEC point guard at Auburn and professional player into his coaching. This included morning workouts, player development, film studies, and weights. Another aspect to Young’s coaching style that he values is integrity and having the right attitude.

“Our biggest [value] is having gratitude to play and coach and wake up to be grateful to be able to play and grateful to play for Oviedo,” Young said.

Due to the team’s hard work, the Lions ended the regular season 21-4. Although a crucial part of any successful team is having the talent and skill to excel in a sport, the underlying quality that helps the Lions play at a higher level is having a strong brotherhood. 

“What makes being a part of this team special is just us hanging out and having fun on and off the court with each other,” Pennyfeather said. 

The season was highlighted by many wins over opponents ranked in the top 100 in Florida, including Lake Brantley (69th), East River (97th), and Seminole (40th) in their second meeting of the season with a score of 65-56.

“The culture is special, we all get along with each other. That’s the number one thing,” Harper said. “No one has an ego on the team so I think we’re just better overall this year and have better chemistry.”

In just a few months, the Lions went from having a potential rebound season to playing in one of the winningest seasons in recent years and being ranked 35th in Florida and 1st in their district. 

“Everything about this team is special,” Bryant said. “This is the best team I’ve ever played on,”

Heading into the postseason, the team plans to continue their success by locking in and focusing on their goals. 

“I still don’t believe the guys think they are as good as me and our staff know they are,” Young said. “It’s more mental at this point and you have to give everyone your best shot every night.”

Designed by Hunter Fuerer in Adobe Photoshop and Canva
Diego Lara, Roxy Duda, Isabella Schneider | Photographers (Diego Lara)
Senior shooting guard Alex Harper makes a shot against East River High School. The Lions won the game 53-50, taking down the 97th ranked team in the state of Florida. (Roxy Duda)
Senior center Caleb Pennyfeather hangs from the basket after he dunks on the East River Falcons. Pennyfeather made 8 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks to contribute to the Lions win. (Roxy Duda)
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    BridgetteApr 5, 2024 at 2:17 PM

    I liked this article because it showed perspective of their team. I also liked how it explained how the games went with Hagerty since they are our rival. It was very to the point but still sounded interesting to me which I also liked a lot. I liked how there was a lot of wuotes because it shows the credibility and it also showed what they were thinking throughout the season.