It’s been nearly a decade since the East Peoria boys basketball team has has a winning season. But they have plans to change that this year. The Raiders have won 10 of their last 12 games and are one of the hottest teams in central Illinois.
“I want them to know that they have the opportunity to do something that hasn’t been done in a long time,” East Peoria head coach Jon Grzanich said. “It’s not that we talk about it every day, but I want them to reach that next goal.”
Under second year head coach Jon Grzanich, the Raiders have expeirneced a culture change. The seniors on the team say that has been the biggest factor in the teams success this season.
“It means a lot to us this year because we have seen teams in the past, and we really care how we perform on the court,” East Peoria senior Anas Abdallah said. “We like to play our hearts out, everybody try our hardest. We like seeing that, and hopefully the younger kids see that and want some of that their senior season.”
And that’s one of the main goals for the seven seniors on this Raiders team. To help move this program forward and create a foundation for future success.
“We want to keep the momentum going, and also we want to leave our legacy. We want to be the group that changes East Peoria and gets us going back in the right direction,” East Peoria senior Jack Skaggs said. “We put in a lot of work in the summer and its paying off. Our season is going way better than it was last year and it just shows progress.”
Coach Grzanich says there is a buzz around the program and that momentum can be congatiuous. He hopes to usher in a new era for East Peoria basketball.
“It just shows kids that through hard work and committment that you can be rewarded through the wins,” Grzanich said. “And they’ve earned these wins, and hopefully we have a lot more in us here down the stretch.”