Bruich, Bulldogs focused on winning

By Mark Oliver
Coming into his senior season, St. Joseph guard Luke Bruich has only one goal in mind for his Bulldogs — just win.

“I want to do all I can to help our team win this season,” Bruich said. “We have not made it to the state tournament since I have been on the team, and that’s the main goal I have. First, we’re focused on winning our conference so that we have a good seed in the district tournament.”

St. Joseph High School’s Luke Bruich is a member of this year’s 501 Basketball Team, sponsored by Conway Regional Health System and First Security Bank.

To help his team find success, Bruich understands that it will take a full team effort and has stepped up to lead the way.

“We have some young players, so I am trying to help them mature and grow their confidence,” Bruich said. “On the court, I do what is needed, whether it’s scoring, assisting or defense. Our team is very close off the court as well, and we try to organize team things and keep everyone together.”

Bruich was selected to this year’s 501 Basketball Team — 34 players representing the best the 501 has to offer both on and off the court. The team is sponsored by Conway Regional Health System and First Security Bank. The senior was nominated by his head coach, Brent Bruich.
“Luke’s best qualities on the court are his court vision, passing, shooting and leadership,” Brent Bruich wrote in his nomination. “He always has his teammates’ backs. This year, I expect him to be a leader on and off the court for us and to be a huge contributor in points, assists and steals.”

Next week, Bruich and the Bulldogs look to defend their undefeated conference record against crosstown rival Conway Christian.

“This matchup is important because it is a rivalry that goes back many years,” Bruich said. “This is also a conference game on the road. Our key to winning the game is shooting. We have a lot of good players and scorers, and if we shoot and score like we can, then we will be very hard to beat.”

For Bruich, the uncertainty of playing during a pandemic adds extra difficulty to his team’s game plan. 

“This season is a lot different than those of the past,” Bruich said. “It is hard with not knowing if our games will be canceled or who will be quarantined. Our team this year has been fortunate not getting quarantined and getting in some games. We have had a few good wins, and our team is getting better and better.”

Off the court, Bruich is an all-state golfer with a state championship ring from his sophomore season. In his free time, the senior also enjoys hunting and fishing in the outdoors of the 501.  

In the classroom, Bruich is helping lay the groundwork for St. Joseph’s recently formed Young Men’s Leadership Academy to give back to the community he calls home.

“Luke is helpful and has a big heart,” Brent Bruich wrote. “He does service projects for the team, school and church community.” 

After high school, Bruich plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. As his final year of high school basketball nears its finish, the senior reflects on the lessons he’s learned along the way.

“Have confidence in yourself,” Bruich said. “Work hard and don’t take your time for granted. High school flies by, so always work as hard as you can to better yourself, so you do not have any regrets. If you work hard, you will be successful and pleased in the end.”

St. Joseph plays at Conway Christian at 7:15 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 5.

Mark Oliver
Latest posts by Mark Oliver (see all)