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TCA Titans return after COVID cost them Final 4

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Heading into last season, The Classical Academy had never won a playoff game in boy’s basketball. By season’s end, they were in the state Final 4. Unfortunately, their run was cut short by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Now the titans are hoping to finish what they started. They've been itching to get back onto the court, especially given how last season ended.

“We were hitting our stride, our peak," says forward Garrett Kautz. "Everyone was playing together perfectly. We had such a good chemistry and everything. We got robbed.”

This year’s team is looking to build on last year’s historic run, but there’s always a chance this season gets cut short too. COVID-19 is already proving to be a challenge again.

“Half of our team is already quarantined," says forward Travis Kautz. "They can’t go to school, they can’t come to basketball. It is a little nerve-racking, if one of our players gets COVID.”

“I think it’s always in the back of our minds," says point guard Kobe Katayama. "We could have another spike. If something happens, our season could get cancelled, or a good bit of it at least. So hopefully we can just play with our masks on, and they let us continue to play.”

This season players are required to wear masks during practice, and in games.

“Wearing masks, it does suck," Travis Kautz says. "It’s completely sweat locked. You can’t breathe that well when you’re running sprints. It’s going to be hard, but we’ll adjust.”

Even with a shorter season, and a new mask mandate, the players say it's good to be back.

“You never know when the last time you’re going to play is, because of injury, or in this case: COVID," Katayama says. "Every practice, every game, we don’t take it for granted.”

Travis Kautz agreed, saying, "It’s going to be fun for sure. I’m super excited. I’m sure my entire team is after being sidelined for nine months, or close to. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be exhilarating, for sure."

TCA opens its season on January 28th against Widefield.

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Danny Mata

Danny Mata is a sports anchor/reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Danny here.

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