Buttons look to upset Apaches in district opener


Logan Martinez and Jaden Rangel

Coming off of their 20th win of the season this past Saturday, the Central Catholic Buttons basketball team rides high heading into district play. With their opening opponent being long-time rival Antonian, it is safe to say that this is much more than an average district game. As the Buttons head into this game week as amped as ever, this rivalry game could shape up to be the biggest of the year. Though Central has been in a winning drought when it comes to Antonian, going 0-3 against the school last year including a playoff game, many of the players and coaches believe that 2022 is indeed the year of the Button. Led by a collection of high-powered offense, great team defense, and stellar coaching, 2022’s Central Catholic basketball team has high expectations and more than enough potential to exceed them. 

As they kick off rivalry week, many players are excited for the anticipated game. “We believe we are more than capable of winning this game,” states senior Lamont Williams. “Everyone wants to beat their rival and that is exactly what our goal is.” Other players, such as senior Mateo Ortega-Rios, put it as simply as, “It’s Antonian….Everyone gets up for Antonian.”  Though all players refrained from talking down on the school, it is no secret that the rivalry is just as strong as it has ever been before. A win against the defending state champions would be an incredible start to district play and that is just what the Buttons look to accomplish this upcoming Saturday.

Though often thought of as a player-driven game, the Buttons would not be nearly as good if it were not for the outstanding coaching staff. With a staff that is just as excited for the rivalry game as the players are, the coaches have not been shy when it comes to stating their thoughts. Assistant coach Brian Coatney has talked in very high regards for the team, saying, “This team has the potential to be something special and I think they have shown that throughout different games of the season.”  Coatney also addressed the excitement of the rivalry claiming,  “Everyone knows about the rivalry and it’s something everyone always gets up for; we are definitely excited, but we’re not going to let it affect our overall goal of winning a district championship.”

The Buttons have their work cut out for them this weekend. Though it is anticipated that this will be the biggest basketball game of the year, both the Button players and coaches are more than excited and ready to play. It is safe to say that this matchup will be one that is talked about all throughout the rest of the school year.