Skyhawks Prepare for Milestone Basketball Season

11/7/2022

Fort Lewis College Men’s Basketball Coach Bob Pietrack will coach his 200th game as the Skyhawks Head Coach this season. Expectations are for the team to make another push for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title. Pietrack is 19 wins away from notching 150 wins as Head Coach. By Connor Shreve. This story is sponsored by StoneAge and The Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado

College basketball season is right around the corner, and the Fort Lewis College men's basketball team is already working towards another charge at a conference title. You're watching the Local News Network brought to you by Stone Age, and the Community Foundation serving southwest Colorado. I'm Connor Shreve. Skyhawks' head coach, Bob Pietrack, enters his eighth season at the helm of the team, and says he still gets excited for this time of year.

I think if you're a real coach or a real player, that you embrace the grind, so to speak, and I tell you, when you don't have it in the off season, you really miss it. And we've got a wonderful group to work with. So I'm embracing, you know, the four-month, five-month journey of what this team will be.

Fort Lewis has been in good hands throughout track's tenure, regularly landing on the top 25 coaches poll rankings, and finishing in the top three of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference on four occasions, including last season's third place finish. He has similar sights heading into this season.

We did lose four really good players to graduation, but we've added some really nice transfers. We have a good core of returners back. And there's some players that are growing up through the program but are hungry for bigger roles. So our expectations are very much like every year, we expect to be competing in the last month of the year for an normal championship and competing for a home plate.

Now there are obvious advantages built in to having a program established like Fort Lewis College does, and Petrarch says there's a blue collar culture built into this team.

I think we know where we're at and where we want to get to. We finished third last year and really were a game or two away. It could have been we could have been the league champions. So in that it it motivates you. And I just think, you know, when your best player is your hardest worker, you have a really good chance. And our best player Akuel Kot returning is our hardest worker.

So that may seem a little boring for the average fan, but the Skyhawks did rank first in the conference in scoring 84 points per game last year, and team leader Akuel Kot promises to keep the offense rolling.

We're going to we're going to play pretty hard and we're going to be playing at a good pace and you'll see a lot of buckets through our team. We are a good offensive team and one thing in practice where we're worried about defense, so we're trying to carry that on to the game. So hopefully by the time comes, well, you'll see a good defensive team out there.

Kot says players are responding to this staff's message.

The goal is definitely to win Army. That's our goal. But we're just worried about every day. Every day is a process of getting better because that's all that's all we're really worried about right now. We're worried about the outcome when the time comes.

This could be a season of milestones for Fort Lewis college basketball. Pietrack will coach his 200th game as the head coach of Fort Lewis and if this team has the success he hopes for he's also likely to reach his 150th win in the role. Pietrack believes that's something this group of players is capable of.

We have two all league players back in Akuel Kot, Brandon Boatright, but we have a transfer from Missouri Western comes. He was all-league in the Division two conference. He's a very good player and we've had another big and Sekou Demler and Trevor Charles. We have a lot of we have a lot of guys back, but we have a good mix of some new blood coming in.

The team tips off its home slate Friday, November 11th, against eastern New Mexico and hosts the Skyhawks Hardwood Classic the following weekend starting November 18th. Thanks for watching the local news network, I'm Connor Shreve.

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