Preseason is a time when “coachspeak” rules, and words such as teamwork and determination fly about the court as wildly as basketballs in a pre-game shoot-around.
Kids looking for individual glory often don’t take heed of such talk, but watching and listening to Goessel’s boys team, sixth-year coach Curtis Guhr has evidently gotten through.
Returning senior starter Josh Schmidt was on message after practice Monday.
“The key is talking and working as a team,” he said. “In previous years, the team’s downfall was focusing on what they could do individually. This year is focusing on team, not focusing on individual stats, and taking it one game at a time.”
Guhr said the team would be looking to upperclassmen and returning players to step up as leaders. Returning senior starter Rhett Makovec appears up to the task.
“Every day we get better, and we just have to stay hungry,” Makovec said. “Our toughness and determination is what’s going to help us win.”
Junior Jordan Griffin rounds out a trio of returning starters for a team that Guhr said must emphasize quickness and defense for success, and conditioning has been emphasized in practices.
“It’s tiring, but I think we’ll have one of the fastest teams in the league,” Schmidt said. “We’re very tall, so that’s also good.”
With Makovec topping the height chart at 6’3”, Griffin at 6’2”, and up and coming freshman Dylan Lindeman at 6’1”, the Bluebirds should match up favorably against Wheat State League opponents.
Other players to watch, Guhr said, include seniors Trevor Beisel and Migul Guerrero.
“Our versatility is our best asset,” Makovec said. “We have players who can play multiple positions and know them well enough to contribute consistently.”
The Bluebirds fell one win shy of having a winning record last year, but appear poised to improve on their 11-12 record.
The campaign begins with a home game Friday against Inman.