Experience is going to be the key this season for the Weed High School Boy’s Basketball team, as they look to move farther in the playoffs and win a Shasta Cascade League title. In 2007, the Cougars finished 17-10 overall and 6-6 in league play.
“We have three goals this year: to win league, get a good seed for the playoffs, and win sections,” head coach Mike Carpine said. “We have the talent and  the potential but we have to find our chemistry.”
To accomplish this, Carpine said they will have to win all their home games and then spilt the road games with the right teams. This was a problem for the Cougars last season; sitting around for several hours on long bus trips took a toll on the young athletes.
In 2007, the team was overloaded with young talent, but they didn’t have the experience to push themselves over the hump.
This year, Zack Vogel returns as the man in the middle. He averaged just over six points last season and was second on the team in rebounds with 147 rebounds, a 5.7 average.
The team’s three leading scorers – Robert West, Tanner Shelton and Aaron Power-Bearden – return from last season. 
Power-Bearden averaged 13.2 points and grabbed 240 rebounds in 2007. He’s going to be looked to as a leader and a force from anywhere on the court.
West and Shelton were brought up as sophomores to the varsity level last season. West had 10.3 points per game and Shelton added 8.7 points. Carpine hopes the game time pushed them into making an impact this year.
Tyler Wilson is going to add quickness and fire power. He was second on last year’s team in steals and assists with 58 and 53.
Jake West has moved to varsity in a second sport as a sophomore to become the starting point guard for Carpine. From what he’s seen on the gridiron, Carpine thinks West is intelligent enough to understand the system and contribute quickly.
Even though Weed averaged over 17 turnovers a game last season, its not a concern for Carpine. He says he has the weapons to answer any kind of turnover problems they may encounter.
A concern for the coach is defense.  He is looking for the Cougars to be more aggressive and prevent teams from getting easy shots. He’s working on a help system that allows them to be more “in your face,” rather than a sit back and wait approach.
“We can’t expect to win if we play mediocre defense,” Carpine said.
As of now, there is no sure thing for a starting line-up, except for West. The Cougars look to be eight or nine deep, giving them a much-needed advantage in the playoffs.
They open up with Butte Valley on Dec. 2 in their home gym before heading to Fall River for the Block F Tournament.