Bombers look to continue improvement
Ed Hedes/TIMES NEWS The Palmerton boys basketball team will be made up of the following for the 2010-11 season. Front, kneeling, from left, Joey Tyahla, Cody Geist, Brett Snyder, Tanner Gutekunst, Mike Horvath and Matthew Leaver. Back row, same order, Tyler Svetik, Kyle Ruch, Ryan Saylor, Jordan Reinhart, Brad Ehret, Ben Andrews and ehad coach Mike Snyder. Gabe Leon is also a member of the team.
Mike Snyder enters his second year as Palmerton head boys basketball coach with the same enthusiasm that he had when he took over the program last season.
The Bombers, who went 4-18 last year, look to improve on that mark with a host of underclassmen again.
Only seniors can be found on the varsity roster in Jordan Reinhart (6-3) and Joey Tyahla (5-8) so Snyder plans on using a group of juniors and three sophomores to build things around.
"We understand it's a work in progress," said Snyder. "It's going to take at least another year, but we're very pleased with what happened last season. What we built last year is a great foundation to continue building on. "I truly believe in these kids. They bring a great basketball IQ to the table, but they aren't really battle tested. We have some experience, but not as much as we would like them to have. "
Snyder will look to Reinhart as his big man underneath since he's the tallest player on the roster.
"The number one thing we lack is size," said Snyder. "We're very guard laden. We have a couple of sophomores in Brad Ehret (6-2) and Ryan Saylor (6-2), who we will bring in and use sparingly until they get some varsity playing time under their belt. We'll even leave sophomore Matthew Leaver (6-0) coming off the bench.
"Once again our main nucleus is our juniors. We have Ben (Andrews), Tyler (Svetik), Brett (Snyder), Kyle (Ruch), Cody (Geist) and Gabe (Leon) so right there we are probably 10 deep."
Defensively, Snyder hopes to mix things up and shys away from being one-dimensional.
"We won't necessarily full-court press, but we'll throw in some half court, half court trap, man-to-man, we'll go basic zone. We want a team to have to prepare for us as much as possible."
What Snyder sees as a big plus during pre-season practice is how great his team's chemistry is.
"This team's chemistry is so healthy," he said. "Practice is fun, it's energetic and it's positive. You just see there is something special in these kids. They believe in themselves and have had success from sixth grade on. They know how to win and that's part of the game."
Snyder hopes to see his Bombers play smarter and harder this year and success will follow.
As far as the Colonial League goes, there are some pretty good clubs returning.
Notre Dame, Saucon Valley with the big kid, Bangor and Salisbury will be the top teams, but Snyder thinks the entire league will be competitive.
"Lets put it this way," said Snyder. "Every game for us is going to be competitive. I don't see us getting blown out. If we double our wins from last year, that would be successful and I'd be happy with that. But obviously we want more."
The Bombers open the season with a boys-girls varsity doubleheader at home on Friday, Dec. 10.