Basketball team gains excitement with new coach

Makayla Mais, Editor-In-Chief

   With the gain of a new coach, the boys basketball team has been anxiously preparing for an exciting new season.The boys have been working on improving from last season’s record of 15-11 and have been setting their sights on a district win.

   Head coach Jason Ollison is preparing for his first season as a Warsaw coach. New ideas such as practices twice a day, running with medicine balls, relays, and alternating offense and defense practices weekly has seemed to make all the difference to the team. A practice belt has also been used throughout the past few weeks during practice, given to the player who scored the most points in practice that day. The recipient got to wear the belt the rest of the school day. Ollison came to Warsaw from Green Ridge to add on to the 14 years of coaching he’s built up.

  “The boys are working very hard and have already shown signs of improvement. We have been practicing before and after school, and the boys have responded well. We will get better very fast if their energy level continues,” Ollison said.

  “He has brought a new system, a new energy, and a new style,” assistant coach Derald Henderson said. “He’s brought full court pressure, and has the team working on shooting a lot of threes. He tries to create a lot of possessions, and because there are a lot of people playing, he wants multiple substitutions.”    

  “He makes us work a lot harder, and we get an equal chance,” junior Anthony Beuke said.

  One of the biggest challenges this season will be filling the place of last season’s senior-heavy team. The team lost six graduates last season, including guard Randall Sherman, point guard Tyler Dority, guard Lane England, forward Tommy Proctor, guard/forward Bailey Jelinek, and guard Joey Cooner, the returning players have to step up to fill the holes that were left.

  According to seniors Kyle Nevius and Thane Henderson, the team will be better than what they are assumed to be because of a new coaching style, and new ideas that have been brought to the team. Even after the loss of six graduates, Ollison’s new ideas and plays will guide the team to success.

  “We have a lot of new people playing varsity, with only one returning with significant experience,” Coach Henderson said. “We’ll have to collaboratively learn, and work together to fill the gaps.”

  “I expect us to improve throughout the season, while it is never easy to replace six guys at one time, but the guys are really putting an effort into getting better,” Ollison said. “Getting used to the speed of the game will be the biggest adjustment for most of our guys. They are good players, but are not used to playing at the varsity speed yet. But we will get there.”

  Junior Wesley Carr and freshman Tyler Kirk feel the team has come together and will use this to their advantage as the season goes on.

  “We’re coming together and we’re going to have a pretty good season,” Carr said. “I’m very excited.”

  “We expect to have a great season with plenty of wins because he has made us work as a team,” Kirk said. “As a whole, we are very excited. I personally am crazy excited.”

  The team kicks off their season in the Eugene Basketball Jamboree on Saturday, Nov. 21 in Eugene. The team will play Eugene, Macks Creek, and St. Elizabeth, and will continue to play El Dorado Springs, Skyline and Sacred Heart in their normal scheduled games. The Warsaw Tournament kicks off on Nov. 30, going until Dec. 5. Last season, the boys took second place after a loss to Butler. The challenging teams the boys will face this season are Blair Oaks, Fair Grove, California, Lincoln, and Osage.