With eight returning letter winners, the Centre High School boys’ basketball team could go far this year. The 2011-12 team finished the season with a record of 9-12.
Returning starters are senior Justin Deines, a 5-foot, 10-inch guard, senior James Wyatt, a 6-1 guard and forward, and junior Grant Srajer, a 5-4 guard.
Senior returning letter winners are 5-10 guard Kodey Johnson and 6-1 forward Corey Brunzell. Junior letter winners are Ty Simons, a 5-9 guard; Kyle Methvin, a 6-1 forward; and Chad Mueller, a 5-8 forward.
Two seniors have joined the squad as newcomers. They are Houston Svoboda, a 5-6 guard, and Jerami Slayden, a 5-10 forward.
Other key newcomers are juniors Tanner Peterson, a 5-10 forward, and Bence Pataky, a 6-1 guard and forward. Sophomores Dakota Stimpson, a 5-6 guard, and Conner Montgomery, a 5-5 guard, are expected to see action.
“We are going to be fairly small but experienced this year and will have to rely on good solid defense and a fundamentally sound offense,” coach Greg Wyatt said. “Most teams we play will be a great deal bigger than us, so we will have to block out well in order to limit the number of shots opponents get.”
Wyatt said the teams in the Wheat State League are quite balanced. He named the top teams in the league as Centre, Solomon, Little River, Goessel, and Peabody-Burns.
“How well we prepare and work together will determine our position in the league standings as well as how far we go into postseason,” he said.
Wyatt is in his fourth year as head basketball coach and 29th year of coaching overall. He is assisted by Mark Hager, who has previous experience in coaching at all levels.