"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

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Sam Ericcson number five, alongside number 15 Sam DeGroot, playing in their first of many varsity matches.
Ashlyn Hoffman
Sam Ericcson number five, alongside number 15 Sam DeGroot, playing in their first of many varsity matches.

As the 2023-2024 LHS basketball season has started back up, two new unfamiliar faces make an appearance on the court this year. LHS sophomores, Sam DeGroot and Sam Ericsson put in a lot of work in the off-seasons and it has shown not only to their coaches but to everyone who has watched them. 

“They are two kids who have spent a lot of time in the off-season developing their game, getting themselves faster and stronger and they got to the point where they will help us quite at the varsity level,” said LHS Varsity basketball coach Jeff Halseth.

One of the two sophomores who plays a big role for the LHS boys basketball team this year is Sam DeGroot. DeGroot had a very good season on the LHS boys football team and hopes to do the same on the court. Playing as a young player amongst upperclassmen can bring a lot of nerves and pressure. Being his first year as part of the varsity team, DeGroot has had to find ways to to calm himself down and play under the pressure of the varsity floor. Having someone who is going through the same thing has also helped ease his nerves and has brought a feeling of comfort. Knowing that his coaches and teammates always have his back and will be there to help has allowed him to play more loosely and confidently.

“I think they help just put confidence in you and just help you be able to have the confidence to just shoot and do what you have to do,” said DeGroot.

LHS sophomore Sam Ericsson is second out of the two underclassmen recently added to the varsity roster. Aside from repping the LHS track team, many can also find him catching rebounds and scoring three-pointers for the LHS basketball team. Aswell as DeGroot, the same applies for Ericsson. Being an underclassmen playing at a higher level can be nerve-wracking. As the 2023-2024 basketball season has come to a start, Ericsson will need to accommodate this new feeling of many eyes being on him. 

“At first, against Washington, I was pretty nervous because I didn’t really know what to expect; but at Harrisburg I felt fine. I just needed time to settle in,” said Ericsson. 

Along with all of the nerves and “what if’s,” also comes moments that provide a once in a lifetime feeling. For Ericsson, that moment was stepping foot on the court for the first time during a varsity game.

“When you first go into the varsity game it almost feels surreal,” said Ericsson. Ericsson’s nerves affected him substantially during the first game of the season; with time he hopes to gain more confidence to play with no hesitation.

“The first game, I didn’t really shoot a lot. My coaches kept telling me, ‘if you get the ball and you’re open, just shoot it,’ so I’ve been thinking about that, and that’s what I did,” said Ericsson.

Not only do Ericsson’s coaches push him to succeed on the court, but so do his teammates. A couple encouraging words from the upperclassmen on the team motivates Ericsson to become the team player he will continue becoming throughout the next few years. 

“They encourage me, they’re role models. If I mess up they will let me know, but if I do a good job they will also let me know,” said Ericsson.

After playing together for club and now during the high school season, DeGroot and Ericsson can experience a different level of competition with the support of one another. 

“Nobody else on the team is in our grade, so when we are split up we just kinda are with each other and talk. We will be playing with each other year-round now, in winter and in club, so we will continue to build on this chemistry and hopefully keep winning,” said Ericsson.

These boys are able to learn from each other and grow together.

“I think we do have a good connection with each other, especially in the JV games. I feel like it flows really well,” said DeGroot. The connection between Ericsson and DeGroot is unique; they will use it to their advantage to help them succeed not only this year but in the years to come. “I want the other teams to know who we are and like these are the two guys we need to stop if we wanna win,” said Ericsson. 

This is just the beginning for Ericsson and DeGroot; as they already have the advantage of playing together at a young age. Their chemistry and game will only improve from here and hopefully bring a lot to their future careers as well as for the LHS basketball team.

“To me their potential is unlimited right now, they could go wherever they want, they both have things they can work on but I think they have the work ethic that they will get that done,” said Halseth.

 

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About the Contributors
Josie Tollinger, Features Editor
Josie Tollinger is a junior, second-year staff member and one of the Feature Editors for the Statesman. Tollinger plays for the LHS volleyball team and is involved in the Spanish Immersion Program. Tollinger can typically be found doing yoga at IGNITE, playing pickleball or spending her money at Nautical Bowls. She also loves spending time with friends and her big family. One of Tollinger's biggest dreams in life is to become a mom and move near the beach. 
Elysse Weber, Staff Writer
Elysse Weber is a junior, second-year staff member for the LHS Statesman. Weber is in the Spanish Immersion Program and strives to be successful. Weber can be found hanging out with friends or spending her very few dollars at the mall. Weber has three crazy brothers and tries her best to avoid them at all costs. In the future, Weber dreams of becoming an interior designer, living along the coast of Florida. 
Ashlyn Hoffman, Staff Writer
Ashlyn Hoffman is a junior and a first-year staff writer for the Statesman at LHS. When not at school, you can find her at the softball diamonds, lifting at the gym or shopping with her friends. If she was to pick a movie series to watch for the rest of her life it would be “Harry Potter.” Hoffman’s prime time is the summer, she enjoys spending time at the lake under the sun. She also loves hiking and being in nature, including fishing even though you will not be seeing her touching the worms.
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