JV Cowboys finish season 15-4
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Times file
Top: (L,r) Aidan Hulbert, Quentin Richter, (Head Coach) - Christopher Low, Nicolas Bifano, Kelita Baroumbaye (Manager) - Hunter Mears  Bottom: (L,r) Gage Mcphail, Pascual Lerma, Jayden Archuleta, Gabriel Marmolejo, Geoff McDougal, Spencer Dickey, Braden Wood
Top: (L,r) Aidan Hulbert, Quentin Richter, (Head Coach) - Christopher Low, Nicolas Bifano, Kelita Baroumbaye (Manager) - Hunter Mears Bottom: (L,r) Gage Mcphail, Pascual Lerma, Jayden Archuleta, Gabriel Marmolejo, Geoff McDougal, Spencer Dickey, Braden Wood

GHS Boys Basketball — Big things can happen when players put the success of a team over individual accolades. The Gunnison High School (GHS) boys junior varsity team experienced as much in finishing the 2017-18 season with a 15-4 record.

Additionally, the JV team averaged 53.6 points per game while only allowing opponents to score 41.5.

Last season, the JV Cowboys finished 8-11. That itself was a huge improvement from the 2015-16 season in which the team went 2-16. However, records have never been important to head JV coach Christopher Low.

“When head varsity coach Matt Smith and I discussed junior varsity expectations for the season we never really discussed the record,” said Low. “Our conversations had more to do with player development.”

Coming into the season, the goal from the very first practice was to become better teammates and to care more for the success of the team over that of individuals. Additionally, with the GHS JV team failing to post a winning record over the prior two seasons, Low simply wanted his team to finish above .500.

That required the Cowboys to get in the gym over the summer and compete in two tournaments against 4A JV teams and U16 select teams.

“Our expectations for the summer were to evaluate our team,” said player Jayden Archuleta. “We wanted to know what we were good and bad at, so we could solve each problem before the regular season.”

GHS found out early what they needed to fix after they failed to win a game in either of the two summer tournaments in which they competed.

“It was tough to not win in the summer,” said coach Low. “But credit to our guys for continuing to work hard and put in extra time to get better.”

The squad’s struggles continued at the start of the season. They went 3-2 before the holiday break. However, when the JV Cowboys returned from holiday break, players were hungry to get better and asked their coaches to open the gym in the morning for extra practice.  

“I wanted to get extra shots in the morning because I wanted to improve my game,” said Pascual Lerma. “I want to be considered a great player before I graduate in two years.”

Lerma also was joined by teammate Spencer Dickey, who routinely showed up for shots in the gym at 7 a.m.

“Going 15-4 was a byproduct of the hard work the guys put in,” said Low. “No matter their success, they we're still hungry to work harder and do better.”  

Going forward, coaches Smith and Low hope to continue to cultivate a basketball culture based on grit and hard work.  

“Coach Smith and I are really excited about the future for these guys,” said Low. “The expectation is that a 15-4 junior varsity record will turn into a similar record next year on the varsity level.”


(Brandon Warr can be reached at 970.641.1414 or brandon@gunnisontimes.com.)