Redmond boys sport a ‘we versus me’ attitude | Basketball Spotlight

Redmond’s Kyle Sawtell, left, and Nate Swanson lead the Mustangs this season.  - Andy Nystrom / Reporter
Redmond’s Kyle Sawtell, left, and Nate Swanson lead the Mustangs this season.
— image credit: Andy Nystrom / Reporter

Senior captains Kyle Sawtell and Nate Swanson know they’ve got to provide a ton of leadership for their teammates this season. Probably more than normal since the Redmond High Mustangs only sport one returning varsity player — Sawtell.

Last season, the team finished 10-4 in 4A Kingco play and 16-7 overall, losing to Roosevelt in overtime in the league tournament semifinals. This season, the Mustangs were winless at 0-1 in league and 0-4 overall at press time.

“If we make our shots and play good defense, we’ll shock a lot of people,” said Sawtell, a 6-foot-2, four-year varsity player who scored 13 points twice in a pair of losses to Lake Washington and Bothell. “(I’ve learned) to not let the fans affect your game. Don’t get freaked out by playing against people who have so-called big names. Keep your calm and do what you do best.”

Added the 6-4 Swanson: “I think we have a lot of fight. We’re a small team so we’re gonna be looking to shoot more. We have a lot of good shooters, a lot of guards on the team who handle the ball.”

Redmond High 1991 graduate Brian Lund is on board as coach for his first season with the Mustangs. Last year, he coached Lake Washington High to a 22-7 record and fourth-place finish at the 3A state tournament.

Lund tipped off his Redmond basketball career on the fifth-grade select squad and later was a sophomore member of the Mustangs’ state-championship team in ‘89 and a senior baller on the ‘91 second-place state team.

“My goal this season is to keep developing the program, competing and improving every kid, every day,” he said. “It’s new kids, a new coach — just trying to get things in their brains. The biggest thing I learned was the ‘we versus me’ attitude.”

Sawtell, Swanson and the rest of the guys subscribe to that motto. They said they’re all like brothers and they get along on and off the court.

“This is a very good place to be. It’s a family,” Sawtell said.

Lund noted that 6-1 juniors Conrad Croshaw and Marshall Cherrington have been impressive on both ends of the court thus far to go along with Swanson’s consistent play and Sawtell’s “hyper-athletic” output.

The coach added that everyone learns from each other in practice and during games.

It’s Sawtell, however, who caught Lund’s eye during a spring-league game when the coach was still with Lake Washington.

“I was like, ‘Who is this kid?’” Lund said with a smile. “He was doing everything from posting up to shooting a 3, and I was, ‘Man, I need one of those kids.’

“It’s deceiving when you see him because you think he’s a guard, and next thing you know, he’s posting you up and going to the basket, and he doesn’t feel you there because he’s so strong.”


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