Tonganoxie teams eager for season
As the winter sports season approaches, coaches at Tonganoxie High School took time to reflect on their teams' 2000-2001 seasons.
Winter sports begin practice on Monday.
In his second year as Tonganoxie's boys basketball coach, Mike Webb said that he expected this year's team to be even better than last season's team.
Webb said his team knows his system better and that a core of strong returning players should help the Chieftains improve on last year's 10-10 finish.
Webb said he expected several players to have a big impact on the team.
Senior Scott Breuer, at 6-1, has a solid all-around game at the forward position.
Brian Gurss, a 6-5 junior, and Thomas Gilner, a 6-4 junior, will add some more size down low for the Chieftains.
At the guard position, Webb said seniors Kyle Rodell, Matt Needham and junior Gregg Burnett should combine for a strong backcourt.
Needham was one of the team's best defenders last year.
Rodell is the team's leader, Webb said. At point guard last season, he averaged five points and two assists per game. He also had 15 steals on the season.
Webb said that Burnett was consistent and had a nice outside jumper.
"He's probably the heir apparent to Kyle," Webb said. "He'll challenge for playing time all season."
He said that several players had worked hard in the summer to be ready for the season.
In addition, most players participated in Webb's basketball fundamentals clinic this summer in Tonganoxie.
With its hard work, experience and better understanding of the game plan, Webb said the team had a good chance to finish the season with a winning record.
"Our expectations are high, just like everyone else's," Webb said. "This year the kids will know the system and know what to expect."
Quickness and hot shooting are at the foundation of this year's Chieftain girls basketball team as it looks to improve on last season's 12-10 finish.
New head coach Leslie Foster said she was impressed by the amount of talent and experience the young team had.
The only two seniors on the team are Kristin Korb and out-of-state transfer student Kim Larson.
The rest of the team is made up of seven juniors, nine sophomores and 17 freshmen.
But despite its youth, the team is returning four starters from last season, thanks to a strong junior class.
Juniors Andrea Korb, Keri Walker, Alicia Stauch and Aimee Eisman all started games for the Chieftains last season, and Foster said they would be important in leading the young team.
Five returning starters from last season's junior varsity squad add to the team's experience.
They aren't tall but, like last year's successful team, they should make up for that in quickness.
"Height definitely isn't a strength," Foster said. "But were pretty quick, which should help us play real aggressive defense."
She said that shooting also would be a strength for the team. Returning outside threats for the Chieftains are Walker, Stauch, Andrea Korb and Erin Seymour.
The Chieftains main two options down low will be Eisman and Kristin Korb, who both stand 5-foot-8.