ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – High school games are set to start on Saturday, across the state. The Valley Vikings Boys Basketball team, won’t start their season until April 3, but they are hard at work and, even though they lost some key players from last year, come in with a new head coach, EZ Panas, making the team feel confident.
“You know, he has been our assistant coach all my four years, and he really takes after Coach Coleman, and they were two great coaches and I think EZ is going to do great,” said VHS Guard Derrick Chavez. “We are going to do the same thing that we have done for 20 years. Obviously, I got to be myself and I am not Coach Coleman, so I got to coach the way my personality dictates, but we are going to do things the same way we have been doing for 20 years. Obviously, it has been successful,” said Panas.
Panas has coached at Valley for 17 years and he takes over for head coach Coleman, who won three state titles in his career. The team does have their work cut out for them, as they lose five seniors from their state championship team. “We lost five key players from last year’s state championship team. The guys are coming along, they are working hard. They may not be as talented as those guys that we lost, but they are working extremely hard and they are buying into the system,” said Panas. “I think all of the players know what to expect and it’s really defense. You know, on offense we can get our buckets, but defense is going to win us games,” said Chavez.
Valley will tip off their season on Saturday April 3 against Volcano Vista.