By MIKE MARSEE
10:00 AM EST, January 28, 2013
BURGIN - Yes, Mason Myers has a bigger role for Burgin this season. But he hasn’t let it get to him.
Myers was one of a very few experienced players on the Bulldogs’ roster when the season began, and he has moved into the starting lineup for the first time.
However, he said more responsibility and more playing time do not equal more pressure as far as he’s concerned.
“As a basketball player, I dont really think of it as a pressure kind of thing,” Myers said. “It’s what I love to do, so i don’t feel pressure at all when I’m out there. I’m always having fun.”
Myers have been coming off the bench for Burgin for the past two years, but now he is one of the Bulldogs’ primary ball-handlers and a veteran on a much younger team with a new coach.
The Bulldogs have won three of their last four games to improve to 8-11 entering their game Tuesday at East Jessamine.
“I feel like we’ve played really hard. We’ve competed in every game that i can recall. Of course, you can always want more wins, but we play our hearts out every time we go out there,” he said.
He said he believes he has also improved this season.
“I believe I’ve gotten stronger with the ball and I’ve cut down on my turnovers a lot, and I’ve gained a little more confidence in my shot,” Myers said.
He said he has also done what he can to help the younger players Burgin is counting on this season.
“In practice, just whatever I can do. Any time they ask me or any time I see something that’s going wrong, I don’t care to speak up and help them out,” he said.
Myers said he believes he and his teammates have adjusted well to the changes made by first-year coach Brian Kirk, who has the Bulldogs playing at a faster pace.
“I think coach Kirk has a great philosophy in everything he does, and I think we try our absolute best to buy into everything he teaches,” he said.
What has been the tougher adjustment for him, he said, is getting used to a new routine. Every coach has his own way of doing things, and Myers said he is a creature of habit.
“I don’t like being out of schedule,” he said. “Just changing practice routines, pregame routines, that kind of stuff is what has affected me, honestly, the most. Pregame rituals are my kind of thing.”
Myers said he wears the same game-day sweats no matter what, and he tries to stick to the same schedule. He’ll shoot during halftime of the junior varsity game, then go into the locker room with four minutes left in that game to dress and stretch, always doing the same stretching exercises.
“I guess as a baseball player, I’m pretty set about pregame stuff,” he said.
Myers has played baseball longer than he has played basketball, and he said there are things he loves about both sports:
Basketball: “I love the competition, and the adrenaline rush when you come out. It’s Burgin, and we don’t get a ton of fans, but on game days I get an awesome adrenaline rush running out on the floor with my teammates.”
Baseball: “I like the weather. The weather’s awesome. it’s amazing to me to play outside. On a nice sunny day, 70, 80 degrees. I could hit and field ground balls all day long.”
Myers has his sights set on moving to a bigger city in college, where he plans to pursue a business degree, but he said he likes attending a small-town school.
“I like the one on one with the teachers, the classes are really small and everyone’s pretty tight-knit here. There’s not really big groups of people that just hang out with their groups,” he said.
If there is a mini-clique, he said, it’s within the basketball team because the players spend so much time together in and out of school.
Myers is the son of a coach and loves watching and playing sports, but he said he doesn’t think he’ll follow in his father Chris’ footsteps.
“I have actually thought about coaching, but the teaching hours and the money — I see the struggle,” he said.
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