March 26, 2009

Honoring an 'exceptional' team's season

"That is progress and we are going to have more of it!"

That was the theme of the night as Hazen head coach Leland Opp congratulated his team on an "exceptional season" at the banquet Sunday night but reinforced that there was still more to come from the Bison basketball players.

But in order to have an exceptional team you need exceptional players. Opp started off the awards portion of the banquet explaining just how to develop such exceptional players. His advice was for all the athletes, younger or older, to take part in Steve Ziegler’s accelerated training program.

"If you want to get faster, stronger, in line with your sport, get in contact with him. I know at some programs how it benefits all their athletes, no matter the sport," Opp said thanking Ziegler for his help as the school’s athletic injury contact.

Opp also added special words of gratitude to the parents, fans and supporters of the Bison this season.

"Our athletes really do feed off that support when we have that many in the stands," he said. "It is important and they appreciate it as well as the coaches."

With all of Hazen’s past and no doubt future success, this was an exceptional year by definition. Opp regaled the list of the young Bison’s accomplishments. Hazen finished third at the State Tournament, Region 7 Champion, District 14 Champion and their 25-1 overall record is a school record. Opp said from his research, the second best team record was 25-3 but the team won Sate that year so it gives the next year’s Bison a new goal.

He also added an accomplishment to the list of defeating Dickinson Trinity all three times this season.


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