History was made

Drake Rowland, Staff Writer

The East Lake High School basketball program took a giant leap forward this year. This year they have made it the farthest the program has ever been. In years past, the program might have had more talent or skill than this year’s team but this year’s team had heart and passion. Some of the players have been playing for head coach Joe Bloznalis since they were sophomores, which is hard to do in a big public school like East Lake.  East Lake made it to the Regional Semifinal game against Sarasota Riverview their district rival. They were down 10 in the 2nd half but came all the way back to tie the game up with about 90 seconds left but eventually fell 49-42. Bloznalis has been coaching at East Lake for over 10 years, but this year was the year he made it the farthest and had the best record with 20 wins and only 7 losses.

                The team was led by a large senior cast. Captains Jeremy Mogged and Blake Grimm led and ran the team. Mogged capped his career with exactly 1,000, points, which is an incredible accomplishment in only three years. Blake was close to 1,000 with 900 plus points. Jeremy’s brother, sophomore Kyle Mogged, also played a major role on the team providing energy and intensity. Senior guard Jeremy Mogged said, “I want to win a district title here but since I couldn’t accomplish that I’m happy with the best record and going the farthest that East Lake has ever gone.” The Eagles had a very deep bench as well, which also led to their success. There is no doubt that this was a team effort and this team will go down in history.

                This team has set the bar at East Lake. A good season only comes with a trip to the state playoffs. With all the seniors leaving, next year’s team will be very young. With only two seniors and one junior returning, the Eagles will be very young next year. Next year’s team will be young, talented, and athletic. With only two starting jobs secure it will be interesting to see the other three positions (shooting guard, small forward, and center) be fought over.

                With history being made Joe Bloznalis will go down as East Lake’s best basketball coach. The standards are getting higher and higher each year. Coach Joe Bloznalis said, “I’m going to miss the seniors, we got really close. Like any good coach, though, I have to start preparing for next year and I think East Lake is getting close to a State Championship.” It will be fun to watch how far East Lake goes next season and seasons to come.