As many see it, Coach Uppena’s basketball team had a very successful season. Was it the season that Coach and his players wanted? Although the team didn’t necessarily make it as far as they wanted, they were still proud of what they accomplished with Coach Uppena.
Coach Uppena’s squad ended their season with a 21-6 record, along with conference and regional championships. This is his first season ever winning both in one year. You would think that the players and coaches would be content with the season. After talking with the whole team though, that was not necessarily the case. They wanted to advance a little further in the playoffs.
I asked Coach if he met his goals for the year and he said, “Yes but no; we met some of our goals but I think all of us wanted more.” Falling only two wins short from making an appearance in the state championship, it would be fair to say that the players and coaches wanted it more than anyone and knew it could be accomplished. When the season came to an end against Wauzeka-Stueben, the team was unprepared for what came next: going home, and for the seniors, never playing again.
“No matter what, I am very proud of what we did this year and we have nothing to be ashamed of,” said Coach. Winning a regional and conference championship proved that this Potosi team was one of the best around. I asked Coach Uppena what winning regionals and conference meant to him. He said, “Everything we accomplished this year shows that our guys worked their tails off every day and I couldn’t have asked for anything more”. He added, “ I thought this group of guys deserved everything they accomplished this year”.
Potosi has been to the sectional semi-final game three times in the past four years, but hasn't gotten past that point. Coach Uppena is going to do whatever it takes to take it to the next level. His plan for next season is to get past that sectional semi-final flunk. “There’s nothing different I would have done this year to give us the best chance of continuing our playoff run,” said Uppena. He also said, “Our last game was just one that you obviously wish would’ve gone a different way, but the game was just not in our favor that night”.
“I loved every moment of this season and I have no regrets,” said Coach Uppena. I think everyone can agree that this season was a ride full of excitement and memories that will last a lifetime. I asked Coach what some of his favorite things were about this year's team. He mentioned that this year's team played for each other and not themselves. He loved how the team could wear opponents down all the way to the end with our stamina, and also going into every game confident about his defensive matchups.
The whole town of Potosi was proud of the season Coach Uppena and his squad had this year. There is nothing to be ashamed of, and the team should be proud of everything they accomplished.