CEDAR RAPIDS — New beginnings bring a new mind-set and intensity.
The back-to-back state champion Xavier boys’ basketball team are back in action and hope to make it a three-peat.
The Saints (2-0) opened the season at Mount Pleasant, winning 68-62, before knocking off Waverly-Shell Rock at home, 54-27.
Xavier returns three starters — seniors Jackson Joens and Matt Mims and junior Quinn Schulte. Last year’s role players, senior Gabe Lux and junior Kyle Moeder, look to make an impact, along with new underclassmen.
“This year we have underclassmen that have a chance to contribute to the team,” Moeder said. “We have great senior leadership which will help guide the team to success.”
Success came to the Saints the past two seasons, but they enter this season with an even bigger target on their back.
Xavier hopes to win a third straight state championship, but is not focusing on that just yet.
“The team has changed a lot since my first year,” Joens said. “Our team chemistry is better than in years past. It would be amazing if we could win again, but we have to focus on each game and worry about state when it comes.”
The Saints host Linn-Mar in a girl-boy doubleheader tonight, starting at 6 p.m.