Overview of Ipswich Basketball’s upcoming 2021-2022 Basketball Season


Evan Stein, Journalist

Throughout the many sports played at Ipswich High School, Basketball is one of the most popular. The team hasn’t had the best records since the 06’ team which won the State Tournament. Last season, the team had one of the better records in recent history. They finished with a record of 6-5, as well as being the runner-ups in the Cape Ann League, Baker Division, Championship. With a win percentage of .545, They had their best record since at least 2012. They also beat Manchester-Essex in the semi-finals of the tournament. Ipswich has not beaten Manchester-Essex in a long time. 

Ipswich hasn’t lost too many key players except for the loss of their center, Nikhil Walker, and guard, Will Wertz. Three of the four captains are returning this year, Charlie Henderson, Tyler White, and Ray Cuevas. Other returning players are Spencer Johnson and Evan Stein. 

I had an interview with coach Alan Laroche about the upcoming season. A big question I had for him was about his goals as a coach for the team this season. He replied, “to stress the importance of attitude, effort and communication are the foundation of our success as a program.”   He went into detail about all of these aspects.  He wrote the following:

Attitude- Come in each day with a positive outlook. I will try to keep the practices upbeat and fun to help brith that level of positivity.

Effort- I will expect that each player and myself gives their best effort on a daily basis.

Communication- I will offer opportunities for players to share their thoughts about the season on a regular basis with the team. I will share my thoughts with the team with individuals about how the season is going.

I also spoke to Coach Laroche on how he felt about losing key players. Laroche said, “Each year we lose guys to graduation and some years to private schools, but I feel like we have guys that can step up and fill those roles this season.”  This also led me to ask about his thoughts on the league and other schools. He replied, “There are teams in our league that will be as good as last year and some teams that graduated key players and we will see if they have guys to fill those roles. I think the league will be competitive and we will have to compete at a high level each game to have success.” 

I asked Coach about where he sees the team three months from now. He stated, “I see us having learned a lot about ourselves and us as a team. We will have gone through some challenging times as a team and with our positive attitude, relentless effort, and constant communication we will be better than we were three months earlier.” To finish up my interview with Coach Laroche, I asked about the state tournament with its return to basketball this year after a year’s absence due to covid, and how he feels about making the tourney.  He said, “I feel confident that if we play hard and together each game we will punch our ticket to the dance!” 

I also interviewed captain, Charlie Henderson, about the upcoming season. I first asked, how have you been training in the off season for this upcoming season? He said, “I’ve been lifting everyday and over the summer I played a lot of basketball. I’ve been getting up shots when I don’t have football. Football has gotten me conditioned for basketball due to the constant running and always being on the field.” I also asked how do you feel about the team this year? He replied, “I think we have a strong group of senior leaders. The juniors definitely have a huge scoring role on the team. And the sophomores will definitely step up and play a huge role in producing wins.” I then followed up with, what improvements and changes are you looking for this season? He said, “I feel like our team chemistry is going to be through the roof. We all have been playing high school basketball together for a long time now and I think we are definitely adjusted.” I then asked, as a captain, what additional roles do you play for the team? He replied, “I need to be a constant leader on and off the court. I think it’s important to have fun while being serious. I know the captains around me are good leaders too.” My final question was: As a player and a captain, what goals would you like to reach for this season? He said, “I think if as a team, we are able to lock in and focus during practice and games, we will be golden. The wins and good times will happen if we stay locked in.” 

The Ipswich basketball team has a lot going for them this upcoming season. It’s going to be interesting to see how they end up doing. With a solid base of returning players and 3 strong captains, the team has a bright future for them this season.