SPASH finds success despite two quarantines
STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - Winning the Wisconsin Valley Conference is an expectation in Stevens Point. The SPASH Panthers won the WVC six straight times from 2013-2018. After a two year hiatus, the Panthers are back where they belong.
“The locker room was pretty crazy,” said SPASH senior guard Gavin Hyer. “Coach came in with water flinging everywhere. Everybody was jumping.”
Jon Krull took over the Panthers head coaching job three years ago. This is his team’s first title under his tutelage.
“He was probably the most excited out of everyone,” said Hyer.
“You know, being a part of this program and seeing our history has been as an assistant coach, but the first one as a head coach is pretty nice,” said Krull.
The conference crown didn’t come without some hiccups along the way. The Panthers were hit with a two-week quarantine just 10 days into the season.
“There is nothing we could do about it,” said Hyer. “I don’t know. It was tough but getting back out makes you wanna really come out explosively.”
But just when the Panthers returned to the court, they had to shut the lights off for two more weeks.
“We had 36 days in between games,” said Krull. “We had three practices in 31 days.”
“Coming off one quarantine then right into the next, it really sucks,” said Hyer.
“Can’t deny, it was really frustrating,” said SPASH junior guard Nate Streveler.”
Adversity builds character. SPASH came back on the court and tore through the Valley. The Panthers rattled off nine straight wins after the hiatus.
“Once you start getting that momentum going, like I felt we had the first day coming back from that second quarantine, from there it kept on building,” said Streveler.
Just like the Panthers are trying to add to the legacy of those before them.
“It feels like I’m part of a legacy that we’ve been building since before I was born,” said Streveler. “I mean the Hausers, Anderson, they’ve been building it up. I just want to keep that tradition going on.”
Krull added that his guys really took it upon themselves to battle past the two quarantines. He said if they didn’t keep the right mindset, the team wouldn’t be where it is today.
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