By Colby Morgan

Staff Writer

The Men’s and Women’s basketball seasons begin on Friday, Oct. 31 and will play through the end of February 2015.

For Women’s Basketball, expectations are extremely high after having a 30-6 record and going 15-3 against conference teams last year.

“We expect the players to be on a mission,” said Trenia Jones, Women’s Basketball Head Coach. “After the success we had last year, you want them to buy into that and to keep that a continued tradition.”

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Photo credit: Shamira Eaton

The team faces some challenges in repeating last year’s success.

“It’s going to be tough. We lost five really, really good kids that are all at Division I programs now and successful,” said Jones. “You’re not going to be able to replace those kids. You just want these kids to play with that kind of determination and to just fight. Every day is a new day and every day is an opportunity to win.”

Even after losing players, Coach Jones is optimistic about the team’s chances this season.

“We’re not where we want to be, but I think we have the potential to be really good,” said Jones

The Men’s team did share the same success as the women last year. After going 14-14 and 7-12 in the conference, there are a few things that need to happen in order for them to be in playoff contention.

“Can we stay healthy,” said Mike Marquis, Men’s Basketball Head Coach. “Last year we couldn’t overcome the injuries because we didn’t have the depth. This year we do have quite a bit of depth and a lot more size, so I feel like we’re probably better prepared physically for the league than we were a year ago.”

Another thing that has to happen is the ability to win close games.

“Our league comes down to the same thing all the time. The team that wins the league is the one that wins the most close games,” said Marquis. “We win our close games I think we’ll have a terrific year.”

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To win the tournament there is a tough road ahead for the team.

“The Division I coaches who have been here have told me that Trinity Valley, Kilgore, Navarro, and Paris are absolutely loaded,” said Marquis. “When you come back from Christmas and it’s all conference games, then you really find out who you are and what you’re made of and in our league all that’s leading to what clearly is probably the best regional tournament in the country for basketball.”

Before the championship in 07-08 it had been 21 years since TJC had won one and a championship is the ultimate goal.

“We want to win the regular season championship. It’s special here to do that, and we would like to do it again,” said Marquis.

Please go to www.apacheathletics.com for more information about schedules and rosters.

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