The Schuyler Central High School girls basketball team enters the 2017-18 season with a new coaching staff and young squad in what appears to be a rebuilding year.
The Lady Warriors were 2-21 last season and have only one senior on the current roster, but new head coach Kadeyn Johnson believes his team will come together as the season progresses.
“This year is going to be a rebuilding year for our basketball program,” Johnson said. “We have an entirely new coaching staff and are incorporating a whole new offense and defense. We are very young, but our girls are doing a great job of coming to practice every day and working hard.”
There are just 14 girls on the Schuyler roster.
“Even though our numbers are low, I couldn’t ask for a better team to coach. These girls have a lot of work in front of them,” Johnson said. “It’s not an easy task to learn a whole new playbook, but our girls have been doing a great job of remembering all of the plays thus far.”
Johnson is in his first year of coaching at Schuyler after graduating from Midland University. He was head freshman coach and a junior varsity coach at Millard North during his student-teaching stint. He is a 2010 graduate of O’Neill High School.
Joining Johnson on the coaching staff are Dan Wolken and Abby Krueger. Wolken will lead the junior varsity squad while Krueger is in charge of the freshmen.
“I think we will be more competitive with teams this year than we were in the past. We have some skilled guards who are shooting a lot better than last year, which will hopefully make it harder for schools to guard us,” Johnson said. “Our post play has significantly increased, as well, and will be a major factor in our offense this year.”
Johnson said guard play will be a strength for the team.
“A lot of offenses we run involve a majority of guard play and we can use our depth at that position to our advantage. We have some good shooters that will help stretch the defense out and force teams to guard us out on the perimeter,” he said. “Since a majority of our players are guards, I am hoping we can use our speed to get a lot of fast-break points on offense. This should also transfer over to our defense, forcing our opponents to take low-percentage shots and stop them from getting dribble penetration.”
The team’s lack of depth could be a potential concern.
“I am hopeful that we can stay healthy throughout our season. Each girl is going to get a lot of playing time, so keeping them healthy is a must,” Johnson said.
The Lady Warriors open their season at home Dec. 1 against Central Conference foe Aurora.
Senior Haylee Korth and junior Rachel Shonka are returning letter winners for Schuyler and Johnson noted that Reagan Folda, Yessica Rodriguez, Maria Semerad, Jocelyn Tena and Tasha Wolken are players to watch.