The Dripping Springs Tigers basketball team is setting goals and standards for this year as it welcomes back all of its players from varsity football.

“I never set goals–I let the players set goals,” Head Coach Craig Swannack said. “Our goal this year is to be a playoff team.”

With that being said, Swannack would really like to see the team this year play well and succeed outside the game as well.

“My goal, as a coach, is to build young men of excellence,” Swannack said. “I feel that relates well to an overall education of the young men under my care.”

Five seniors are on the team this year, and some of them agreed that they were disappointed that it was their last year. Two senior players, Cullen Young and McKenly O’Neal, are just now playing because they were in the playoffs for football.

“At first, it was pretty hard for Cullen and I coming from football to basketball. We had to learn all the plays pretty fast,” senior center and power forward McKenly O’Neal said. “The week we came back, we had a tournament, so we had two full practices before our first game.”

Now after having almost a week of practices, O’Neal feels more prepared for the rest of the season ahead of him.

“We are getting back to where we were as players last year,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal feels that since this is his last season, it is a constant reminder of how important it would be to get to playoffs.

“It’s sad knowing this is the last time I’ll play with these guys,” O’Neal said. “But then again, it makes me take this season a little more serious.”

Senior power forward Nathan Bondurant is also disappointed that it is his last season.

“It’s a little sad, but I’m just trying to enjoy it while I can,” Bondurant said. “My goal this season is for our team to go to the playoffs.”

The next Tiger basketball game is against Lockhart at home on Dec. 30 at 1 p.m.

“We have such a great group of young men on this team,” Swannack said. “This is a fun group to be around, and I’m excited to see what they can do this year.”

Written by Jillian Shepperd