By Nugesse Ghebrendrias
Of the News-Times
NEWPORT — The Newport Cubs boys basketball team has the talent to make some noise within the 4A-3 Oregon West Conference. All they need is a voice to get the most out of that talent, and former Waldport boys basketball coach Peter Ellingsen looks to take control.
Ellingsen, a favorite from Waldport for the past four years, looks to take the reins of the higher-division Cubs for the first time next week when the Cubs travel to Siuslaw Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Luckily, Ellingsen has a strong senior class to lean on.
“My seniors want to see what they can do and hopefully win a league title and see what we can do for state,” Ellingsen said. “I know that their expectations from last season probably weren’t what they wanted, and this year they want to end with a bang.”
For the 2019-20 season, the Newport Cubs boast six seniors, four juniors and three sophomores. Two of these sophomores will play for the Cubs junior varsity as well.
“I have high expectations for my guys, but this is only my second week in, and things are still new,” Ellingsen said. “We are just going to see how it goes for right now.”
For Ellingsen, having more players at his disposal is a change from Waldport. He has almost 15 players to choose from, and for him, the plethora of athletes at his disposal will give him some game plans to work around.
“I’ve got a lot of athletes, and this is something I haven't had in a lot of years,” he said. “I can’t wait to see what we can do with so many athletes that can play basketball.”
While the season may be young, there are a handful of players already showing what an impact they will have.
Ellingsen gave the nod to some of his senior leadership, who he believes will give a lot to the team.
Bryan Tapia (senior) is a solid shooter and point guard who will have a big role with the Cubs. Fredy Hidalgo (senior) is a great leader and athlete who can answer the call when called upon, and Quintin Travis (sophomore) can be a monster of a basketball player if he realizes his full potential, the coach said.
Kaden Bruns is also a sophomore on varsity and will bring a motor and drive to the team every game and practice.
“There are so many other guys in this program that I am proud of, it’s just a little hard to pinpoint right now since I’m still new,” said Ellingsen.
Look for the Newport Cubs and Ellingsen to open their new season in early December.