By Jeremy McDonald
MT. ANGEL, Ore.— Kennedy’s Isaiah Basargin thought he would ever miss the aches and pains of playing sports as he does now. But he knows what it means to him to have gone through that in order to be successful and being a part of the successful programs at Kennedy High School.
“Never in my life did I think I would miss my body hurting from games, practices or workouts. I’m ready to get back in it,” Basargin said. “Kennedy has been successful in sports whether it is boys or girls for a very long time. And I think the coaches know this and try to keep it up so they will push us to our very best.
“It’s all I could have asked for. I’d rather have coaches that push me too hard rather than ones that don’t push me enough.”
The cold of Hermiston at the 2A State Championship his Junior year didn’t bother him, but knowing the feeling of being so close to reaching Pendleton again this past Winter did wear on the now Trojan Senior looking back.
“It sucked. Just knowing you’re that close to it again and then not making it hurts. And I felt bad for the seniors especially ones like Luke Hall who just breathe basketball… playing with Luke was an honor. It was amazing to see the way he played. He’s also just a fun and nice guy to be around too. He really fit good in that senior leader spot too,” Basargin starts.
“But you just got to use that loss as a fuel for the next season. Sadly, we haven’t had a season yet this year.”
Time is churning away from what is supposed to be the last year of first for Basargin and his Senior Class. Uncertainty for football that should be known this week, basketball has some time. It’s just a waiting game now.
From playing under JV Coach Shayne Kleinschmit and Varsity Head Coach Karl Schmidtman, to the movie like feel that the 2A Semi-Final game against Monroe at Hillsboro Stadium on November 23, 2019; it’s been a fun ride for the nearly six-foot student-athlete.
“Playing JV for coach Kleinschmit and varsity for coach Schmidtman has been some of the most fun and hardest working times of my life. But making it to the playoffs both years I’ve been on varsity has been amazing,” starts Basargin about basketball going into football. “The win over Monroe (in football) was insane. It’s the type of thing you see in movies.
“It was one of those moments when you understand the situation, you’re in and you kind of change your mentality in a way. You become more focused and are ready to give it all. It’s the type of moment like in the movie where it shows those slow-motion scenes of the team scoring the winning point and celebrating… It’s a dream come true. It’s cool seeing how we progress throughout the season. Just knowing that the hard work we put in pays off makes it all worth it.”
Now it’s a waiting game to see what kind of football season they’ll have, whether it’s full-contact, 7-on or none at all for March with basketball not scheduled until May to be played in the State.