Practice begins today in area gyms
Monday, November 1, 2004
Six new boys coaches will hold their first practice with their team.
By Jeremy Joffray ~ Southeast Missourian
It has been a busy offseason for Southeast Missouri basketball teams.
When the season begins on the third week of November, fans will have to study their programs just to keep up with the numerous player and coaching changes.
Coaches and players will start to get acquainted today when practice begins for boys and girls basketball.
"We're excited just like everyone else is this time of year," Saxony Lutheran coach John Daniel said.
Six area boys programs changed coaches. Notre Dame, Jackson, Chaffee, Advance, Oran and Kelly have new coaches, with three of the programs hiring coaches already at the school. Joe Shoemaker at Advance and Cory Johnson at Kelly were assistants at their respective schools last season, and Tyson Moyers moved from girls coach to boys coach at Chaffee.
Darrin Scott took over Jackson's program after leading Notre Dame last season. Paul Hale, formerly the head coach at Dexter, took over the Notre Dame program. Oran hired Jason Andrews as its new boys coach.
Along with coaching changes on the boys side, many of the area's top players will also be absent. Dominitrix Johnson (Bell City), Ryan Delph (Central), Will Johnson (Central), Tyler McNeely (Jackson), Jeremy Schlosser (Scott City), Tyler Ward (Scott City) and Chris Pullen (Scott County Central) all graduated.
Of course, there is still plenty of talent left around the area. Scott City senior forward Mark Dannenmueller was an all-state selection last season. Other players to watch include Jack Puisis (Jackson), Tyler Bowman (Advance), Eli Harris (Central) and Bryce Willen (Notre Dame).
A new gym will open as well when Saxony Lutheran moves into its facility for the Nov. 28 season opener. Central and Oak Ridge have also opened new gymnasiums in recent years.
"It is exciting to see it come together. Our school started with such humble beginnings," Daniel said.
Girls have more stability
On the girls side, there is more stability on the coaching side. Chaffee and Oran were the only programs to change coaches. Chance White will take over at Chaffee, and Larry Boshell will coach Oran.
Several teams were hit hard by graduation, including local powers Jackson and Notre Dame. Jackson lost four of five starters, while Notre Dame graduated several strong players, including Southeast Missourian Player of the Year Sommer McCauley.
Others lost due to graduation included April Lorenz (Perryville), Megan McDonald (Central), Ashley Bartels (Jackson), Katie Loos (Jackson), Sierra Ellis (Notre Dame) and Jennifer Hoots (Scott County Central).
But area girls basketball teams were littered with young talent last season. Players to look out for include Jackson junior Bobbie Jones, Delta sophomore Shea Smith and Woodland sophomore Cortney Glastetter.
Fans looking to see perhaps the top girls basketball player will have to attend boys games. Saxony Lutheran junior Lauren Lueders already has gained national exposure after being recognized by Street and Smith's as a preseason honorable mention All-American. She was one of only five Missourians to be honored and the only underclassmen. Lueders averaged 10 points for the Crusaders' first-year varsity boys program last season.
"She has gotten a lot better," Daniel said. "She's stronger and more assertive on both sides of the ball."