The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

A Fresh Start for Trojan Basketball

Men’s Basketball looks to avenge championship loss, reclaim NWAC North Division throne
Benjamin Eyman
First year Trojan Head Coach Daniel Thompson instructs his players in practice. Thompson takes over from Mike Trautman after previously serving as his assistant coach.

With the temperature dropping and the rain showers increasing, the feeling of Winter is fast approaching, which means it’s almost time for men’s basketball to return to the Walt Price Center.

The team snuck into the NWAC tournament as the fourth team out of the North Division last season before getting hot at the right time, making it all the way to the championship game before losing to division foe Bellevue 85-71.

Things are also changing at the helm of the squad with head coach Mike Trautman departing after seven seasons with the Trojans. After a search was conducted the decision was made to hire Trautman’s assistant coach and former EvCC player Daniel Thompson.

Thompson acquires a squad with only one returning player, 6-foot-6-inch Raefe McEnroe. McEnroe averaged 8.2 points per game as a Freshman in 2020-2021, before missing all of last season with a shoulder injury.

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“He’s starting to really turn it on, he’s rising to the occasion and getting past those mental fears,” said Thompson.

McEnroe has also assumed the role of team leader in the locker room by default with the Trojan squad. Thompson knows that McEnroe understands what they are trying to do as a team and a program.

Thompson did not allow the turnover to stop him from putting together a roster that he feels like can compete. The Trojan roster also enters the season as the 10th ranked team in the NWAC per the preseason coaches poll. Division rivals Bellevue and Skagit Valley also find themselves inside the top 10 at second and sixth respectively. Edmonds sits right outside the top 10 at 11th and Peninsula is also receiving votes.

“We’re not the biggest team, we’re not the most athletic team, so we have to be the most intelligent team and the hardest working team,” said Thompson.

Sophomore Raefe McEnroe rises over Freshman Hayden Conaxis in practice. McEnroe is the only returner from last years runner-up squad. (Benjamin Eyman)

The squad recruited a lot of talent locally, signing former 1st team all-wesco standouts Jalin Johnson from Mariner High School and Ethan Martin from Arlington High School. Johnson, a point guard, has been an early standout for Thompson.

“He’s a big time leader, a coach on the floor, runs the team and gets guys in the right spot. He’s been a pleasant surprise.”

The team is eager to get the season rolling, tipping off the year with a pair of home matches with Wenatchee Valley and Mt. Hood. It will also be Thompson’s debut as head coach, something he recognized as a game to circle on the calendar for him.

“At this point I don’t think it’s all truly hit me, we had our jamboree at the beginning of the month and everyone was asking were you nervous? And I’m like I’ve done these things before.”

Thompson believes in his squad to compete. Through buying into the system and playing their way they can “easily make the playoffs,” said Thompson. With the NWAC North Division having such a turnover with players and coaches alike.

“For us it’s about focusing on what we do and trying to come here and be as consistent as we can be each day.”

The Trojans look to reassert themselves as the top team in the North Nov. 17. Tipping the season at home versus Wenatchee Valley. Home games will be live streamed on EvCC’s athletics YouTube page with North Division play tipping off in mid-January.

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About the Contributor
Benjamin Eyman, Staff Reporter
Why did you join the Clipper?  I joined the clipper staff to continue my development and cover amazing stories. I am excited to work with all of the amazing staff members as well as meet and tell the stories of great students, staff and community members. What do you do outside of the Clipper? Outside of working for the Clipper I can be found playing board games with my friends, working on my disc golf game or watching a good movie. What is a goal you have in journalism? Ever since I was in middle school I knew I wanted to be a journalist and cover sports, one day I would love to get to do play-by-play announcing of the Sonics return to Seattle.

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