The Weatherly boys' basketball program will switch gears and undergo a 'changing of the guard' for the upcoming 2010-11 basketball season, as a new approach is being taken to the hardwood.
Head coach Paul Cann is looking to his seniors to step into the roles that have been vacated by the departed and has confidence in their abilities to do so.
"Things are going to be different this season and it's up to our seniors to determine how we're going to do," Cann said. "They have the most experience and we're trying to get them to fill in those roles that are open."
The afore-mentioned 'departed' are last season's top three scorers in Keith Barna (18.13 ppg), Nathan Pfeiffer (13.35), and Brendan Rowan (11.14). Behind those three players and some outstanding contributions from some returning letterwinners, that team from a year ago managed a 14-9 overall record and qualified for districts.
"We're going to need some of our returnees to find their roles on this year's team, and if they can develop their own identity, we should be able to have success," Cann admitted.
As for the seniors that Cann looks to fill voids, he calls on returning starters from last season in Kyle Harris (6-0/C) and George Wallish (6-0/C), both seniors. "They definitely have the most experience in the starting positions and the most playing time under their belts," Cann said. "But I'm looking to the other seniors to step in and take on those new roles on our squad, as well."
Among those other seniors will be Christian Ormiston (G), Colton Weichman (5-9/G), Cory Rowan (5-6/G), Jeremy Hollrigl (5-6/G) and Dominic Palermo (6-0/G).
According to Cann, this troop of Wreckers "all played JVs last season and need to step up into the varsity level. It's up to them to show the younger kids what to expect on the next level and guide them with the leadership needed."
Other individuals expected to contribute to this year's success at Weatherly are sophomores Brett Stallone (5-10), Joey Haganey (5-11), Charlie Wallish (6-0), and Samson Walton (6-3). Cann said, "We're hoping that this group really starts to develop and come along as the season progresses. We're trying to get them to be a little more physical and aggressive."
One thing that Cann thinks needs to happen with this squad is that they manage to handle their identity issues.
"This is a group that, coming up through the younger grades, they didn't really win a lot of games," Cann recalls. "I'm hoping that they work together and learn how to do that. By winning some of these games early on, hopefully they can develop their own identity and learn to fit into that mold of being winners."
Last year, there were some individuals that took the leadership role and ran with it. Cann hopes that this year, there are a couple of players that can emerge and fit into those roles, as well.
"I think that they need to find some individual roles, as well," Cann said. "If we do that, we should be alright. We have some good experience inside with George and Kyle, but we need to develop those other players around them in order to be successful."
With the hard work and determination of the players and coaches in the program, this task should not prove to be too daunting.