With no seniors playing this season it is time for the younger kids to mature a little quicker. A year ago they were several sophomores gaining varsity experience. And this year as juniors they will be asked to step up and fill the leadership roll that the seniors add to a program.
“We have a lot of kids back that seen a lot of minutes last year,” stated Coach Michael McBride. “We are very excited about that and I feel that we are further ahead of what we were a year ago. We have an athletic bunch of kids that can get the ball up and down the floor.”
The team looks to be more physical than last year’s squad. They are getting up and down the court quicker and have better movement. “We had a real good summer in the weight room,” said Coach McBride, when I asked him about the team. “We look more like a varsity team this year than we did a year ago.”
Dylan Herendeen was last season’s leading scorer, and looks to improve his game. Tavin Herendeen is going to do a lot of good things on the defensive end, along with stepping up his offensive production. Kyle Mathewson really has improved and looks to be a force inside. He is a very athletic kid that can do a lot for the team. Jordan Turner had a real good year last year and really came on at the end of the season. He should create problems for opponents. Kyle Monk was a force on the boards for the Eagles last year and looks to expand his skills this season. Hunter Nicodemus has really improved and is ready to take the step to play a lot of varsity minutes.
Three sophomores, Tyler Arrowsmith, Dylan Jones and Josh LeFever, bring a lot of athleticism and heighth to the team and should see a lot of time on the floor.
Dylan Herendeen and Kyle Monk will begin the season on the injured list as both of them have hamstring injuries. “I think that this will benefit us from the standpoint that some other individuals will have to step up and do a little more,” explained Coach McBride. “But once they do return we will be a whole lot deeper and a whole lot better at that time. The main thing is we want them to be one hundred percent when they do come back.”
Some of the strengths on this year’s Eagles should be our rebounding, along with a good inside-outside mix. With Arrowsmith, Mathewson, Jones, Monk and LeFever down low the Eagles look to control the boards on both ends of the floor.
Churubusco is looking to take the next step and compete with Lakeland, Fairfield, Angola and Westview for the Conference title. The one way to do that is by performing on the court. The Eagles are looking forward to making a run at the title and a strong push in the Conference tourney.
The Eagles also look to make a run in the Sectional. A strong Garrett team has won the past couple seasons. The Railroaders are the team to beat along with improved Eastside and Fremont teams. Churubusco looks to make themselves a force in the Sectional.
Following the scrimmage on Saturday, Coach McBride saw things that the Eagles need to improve on to get to the next level. “We need to work on doing a better job contesting shots, and we found that out Saturday. We need to do a better job handling the basketball. There were too many turnovers in our scrimmage and we are addressing that. Also we need to finish stronger inside. The bottom line is when you talk about winning close ballgames we will need to be able to hit our free throws down the stretch, said Coach McBride.”
It should be an exciting season for the Eagle basketball program. Come out and support your Churubusco Eagles. They will be on the road next Friday at Westview.