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Boys’ basketball to put program first

November 16, 2018 – The Excelsior Springs Boys’ Basketball Team coaches teach their players to think of the program and team first, asking them to put in the effort for each of the 139 days in the season. The coaching staff hopes this mentality will help the team build upon their last season of five wins.

Head Coach Chad Wright said the team lost over 90 percent of their scorers from last season, including Peyton Soria, a thousand-point scorer. The team contains holes that must be filled, but he said he thinks the end result will be a better all-around team.

“We don’t have a 6-foot-5-inch guy or 6-foot-6-inch guy, or a guy who was a prolific scorer like Peyton was, but

Senior Jax Gibson goes up for a basket as junior Trey Johnson attempts a block. Head Coach Chad Wright said the team will look to the seniors for leadership this season.
KIMBERELY BLACKBURN
Staff photo

we got a lot of guys who are that are willing to play whatever role we ask them to play,” he said.

Seniors Simon Holst, Jax Gibson started last season while Owen Siegel played some varsity. Wright said he expects seniors Zane Wilson, Derrick Helt and Dylan McIntosh, newcomers to the program, to fill some of

the holes left by graduating seniors.

In addition to Soria, who earned all-conference and all-district honors last season, the team graduated several players including Alex Courson, Dalton Allen, Danton Allen, all-conference player Landon Seely, Nick Butler and

Chris Whitmore. Wright said the team will look for leadership to come from last season’s returning

starters. In addition to Holst and Gibson, returning starters include juniors Breyden Haight and Brandon Gluhm and sophomore Jalen Soria.

With these starters and some more upcoming players, Wright said the future looks bright for the program, both for this season and the ones beyond. He said their schedule will prove to be competitive and will have a chance to compete for the conference title.

“I think we’ve got a lot of young talent at the high school level and at the middle school that we develop it, we have a chance to be really good,” he said.

This season, basketball fans can expect an exciting brand of basketball, Wright said. The team will take the ball up and down the floor and plan to be aggressive defenders. Because of the lack of extremely tall players, he said they will need to play great half-court defense and be smart with the ball on offense.

The team worked hard over the summer, he said. Many players put in time in the weight room, went to summer camps and played in league games to increase their skill.

In addition to their team, Wright said the team’s coaching staff works together to build up the program. Assistant coaches include Greg Broadbent, Aaron Holst and Ed Donovan.

“They are really involved and want to see the program reach new levels and I’m excited about that,” he said.

By Kimberely Blackburn • kimberely@leaderpress.com

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