Winter sports are here! BJ Media kicked off the season with a media day featuring Ironwood’s boys and girls basketball programs, as well as its state championship wrestling team..
The Eagles are coming off a successful 23-6 season that ended with a loss to Desert Mountain in the Open Division Elite 8.
This season, Ironwood is hoping to finish the deal with a state title.
Coach Jordan Augustine, entering his ninth season with the Eagles, is looking forward to coaching and seeing the growth from his team.
“I’m looking forward to getting the opportunity to watch our guys grow every single day,” Augustine said. “That opportunity to start a journey with a group of guys and see how far you can get is an opportunity I cherish very much.”
Ironwood faces a challenging regular season schedule that includes trips to Idaho and California as well as a tilt with 6A power Boulder Creek. It’s something that Augustine says they embrace.
“Fortunately, we have a very challenging schedule and it's something that we’ve earned,” Augustine said. “The challenge for ourselves is to be the best versions we can be every single day and whoever we get the opportunity to compete against we’ll see where we’re at in that measuring stick for that day.”
Senior Dino Jukic, who missed time last season with a knee injury, is looking forward to returning to the court for his final year.
“I’m looking forward to just getting back on the court with my guys,” Jukic said. “I just can't wait to get on the line with these guys and start running some line drills again.”
The Eagles will also travel to Idaho and California this season, something senior Jadden Jones is looking forward to this season.
“It’s a business trip, but just creating those memories and the bond we need for on and off the court is something I’m looking forward to,” Jones said.
Ironwood opens its season tonight when it hosts rival Centennial.
While Ironwood’s girl’s basketball team struggled to see much success on the court last season, its culture off the court has the Eagles set up for a bright future under second year head coach Tatum Henderson.
“The practices we’ve had so far and some team bonding activities have just been so much fun,” Henderson said. “They’re a really fun group of girls, everyone gets along super well, they have a good time, they’re goofy, they’re weird, so it just makes everything we do really fun.”
While the Eagles will be underdogs in most games, Henderson thinks her team will surprise some people.
“My goal right now is just to get a few games that people aren’t expecting us to get,” Henderson said. “We have a group of girls who work really hard, they’ve put a lot of time in the offseason, so I think that just having resilience and mental strength and effort and all of those things I think we’re going to get some games that people don’t expect us to get this year.”
Sophomore Addison Monahan, who’s expected to be a key contributor for this season, is hoping that their hard work this offseason will come to fruition with more W’s in the win column.
“I think we’re learning from last year and trying to build off of that,” Monahan said.
Another key contributor, Aida Wahbeh, wants to remember last year's mistakes to ensure they don't happen this season.
“One of our goals is to have a more positive mindset from last year, last year was full of negativity on ourselves,” Wahbeh said.
The Eagles are off to an 0-1 start on the season and travel to Boulder Creek on Thursday for their second game of the season.