The Van Buren Boys basketball team is off to one of it's best starts in many years. The Crusaders opened the year with a loss to Central Aroostook, but have since reeled off seven straight wins. Coach Steve Lapierre says the team had high hopes heading into the year.
Steve Lapierre:" We have a lot of kids coming back. They work hard and we came off a pretty good soccer season so we hope to keep that going."
Luc Perreault is one of the Seniors on the team. Perreault is a thousand point scorer and has played since his eighth grade year. He says he likes the make up of this team.
(Luc Perreault):" We are a lot more diverse than last year. We have a lot more people who can come off the bench and give us some good minutes."
Lapierre:" We got some good seniors coming back and we got some young players coming in. We ought to be able to gain some experience as the year goes on. I think as long as they work hard and work together we will keep improving."
The Crusaders went 9 and 8 year last year and before the season started they set some goals that they are close to attaining
Lapierre:" We hope to improve on our record and get down the Bangor and maybe cause a little damage down there."
Van Buren has a mix of seniors and underclassmen and Lapierre says that the seniors are taking on a leadership role.
Lapierre:" It's important you need to have that senior leadership and the younger players start to fit in and learn what their roles are on the team. That senior leadership carries throughout the year."
Last year the Crusaders were 9-8 and hosted a preliminary playoff game. The stopped Washburn in the prelims. The Crusaders are currently number one in Class D and it looks like the team will be back at the Cross Insurance Center again this season and that means they have reached one of their goals.
Perreault:" Get back down there and make a deeper run than last year. We lost to Woodland last year