Basketball Tips-Off in Another State!


Realiti Smith and Elijiah Esposito defending Garden City player

Jacob Pivonka, Head of Sports Department

Winter sports have commenced at Coronado! With tryouts wrapped up and rosters set, arguably the most anticipated year for boys’ basketball is now in season. The team was young last year, and has most of its players returning as well as being led by a second-year head coach, Cody Bernbeck.

Coronado had their first test on the court on Saturday Nov. 26 in a scrimmage versus Colorado Springs Christian School (CSCS). The boys dominated in the scrimmage, but still have a few road bumps to overcome.

The boys’ first game toke place at home on Dec. 1 against Garden City, a 6A high school located in Kansas that gave the Cougars problems last year handing them a 71-35 loss in Garden City last season and a 71-45 loss again this year at home. Even with that tough loss, Coronado has plans to change that outcome this year. Coronado and Garden City will face off twice this year, with the second match up happening in Garden City on Dec. 9.

For Coach Burnbeck, this trip to Garden City is more than a game, it’s a reunion. Coach Burnbeck himself is from Garden City and played both football and basketball there. He still holds the school record for passing yards for football and was the star player for the basketball team. Coach Burnbeck elaborated on this saying, “It’s always nice going back… That’s where I was born and raised, I know a lot of people out there and with my family there it’s really always a joy.”

With the matchup between Coronado and Garden City, we hosted them this week, then both boys and girls teams travel out to Kansas for a 4-team tournament that has now become a yearly tradition. The Cougars played in the tournament last year going 2-2, but a big part about the trip out there is the trip itself. Coach Burnbeck talked about the importance of the trip to the team and says, “Anytime you go on a long trip like that there’s a lot of time for the guys to be together and we enjoy each other’s company and fellowship, and we could use it because we play good teams out there and that can set us up for the rest of the season… It goes a long way for our team.”

Starting a new season is always a challenge, and with three of last year’s starters graduating, the team faces the challenge of having to fill those spots. Coach Burnbeck addressed this problem and elaborates, “We had a lot of sophomores play for us last year that are now juniors … and expectations are higher for them and with the standard they hold themselves to and that’s Realiti Smith and Seth Enoch and Bradley Morrow is in that mix. This junior class can be great for us this year”