The Warren Central boys basketball team began their season on Nov. 27 with an away non-conference game against Indianapolis Arsenal Technical and came away from the game with a strong win by a score of 81-67.

     Leading the way for the Warriors was junior Malik Stanley who scored 39 points for the Warriors as well as four rebounds. Sophomore Aaron Humphrey scored an additional 12 points for the Warriors, leading the team in rebounds on the night. With a solid win to kick off the season, this victory helped to set the tone for the beginning of the season for the boys.

     On Friday, Dec. 6, the boys hosted their first game of the season against Fort Wayne Bishop Luers for Hemophilia Awareness. During the game, the student section was decked out in red to show their support for the cause and the school was able to raise money that would be donated to the organization. Warren Central student athletes senior Cortland Jackson and sophomore Chandler Jackson have been affected by this blood disorder and are two of the five known Indiana high school athletes to still partake in athletics while battling this disease. As well as raising money for this cause, the boys were also able to celebrate a win and improve to 2-0 on the season.

     “It felt as if everybody was there to support us on our journey and that we are not alone. Raising awareness for Hemophilia was special because nobody has really ever heard about this disorder before because it is very rare but can be worse than many other known disorders,” Courtland Jackson said. “Having that night showed people that no matter what you are going through, it’s not a reason to give up.”

     With a growing and increasingly popular basketball program, the boys have immense pride in the culture both they are creating and the tradition they are a part of. After winning a state championship during the 2017-18 season, the boys have been in the spotlight in the state of Indiana. However, the boys are not only held to high standards outside of the school, but also every day in practice and games by coaching staff.

     “The program here at Warren Central is one of the greatest and toughest programs you can be involved in. We are very disciplined and we practice how we play,” Cortland Jackson said. “Some of my favorite parts about this program is how everyone in the program pushes each other to do better every day. Everyone sees the success in our program but, in practice is where it starts and we all accept our roles to push our egos aside.”

     With the start of the 2019-20 season, the boys received a new varsity head coach, Garrett Winegar, who was the assistant coach for the past three years. Winegar comes to his new position with high hopes and success, starting his first season with a positive win record as he emphasizes unselfishness on the team and in the program.

     “My goal is to lay the foundation for future success at Warren Central,” Winegar said. “This starts with building a culture of hard work, unselfishness, and player development. In order to grow from last year, we need to get better. If every person gets better individually, our team will grow collectively. In order to do this, we focus on player development every day.” 

     While Winegar is not changing everything going on in Warren Central basketball, he wants to continue building upon the foundation that has previously been built as well as adjust things to better suit the players. Focusing on player development and highlighting their strengths, Winegar is making positive changes with hopes that the boys will take everything with an open mind.

     With one of the toughest schedules in the state, the Warriors will face top-ranked teams such as Carmel, Lawrence North and Lawrence Central. The team plans to give all of their efforts and work hard during every game they play no matter who the opponent the may face. 

     This hard work comes from daily practices where the Warriors focus on fundamentals and in-game situations to prepare them and aid their success on the court. The boys are expected to put in hard work every day and to never give up.

     “Whenever you step on the floor, regardless of how much Varsity experience your team has or how many seniors you lost, the goal is to win. This year is no different. We expect to win,” Winegar said.