With a broad senior base, the Canton-Galva boys are on the hunt for uncommon success on the basketball court this season.
“I am excited that we have five seniors who have played in a lot of varsity games,” said coach Jake Sims, who returns for his second year. “They played a lot for me last year, so they understand what I expect.
“That doesn’t mean wins necessarily, but it should mean competing in more games.”
The Eagles have seven seniors out, but also will definitely count contributions from several younger players, Sims said.
“Devon Helton and Trevor Unruh, they’re definitely going to have to step up to contribute on the varsity level,” Sims said. “Depth is obviously a concern for us. The quicker they can fill in, and the quicker they can accept their role, the better.”
Sims said key players for the Eagles will be Taylor Koehn, Kolby Moddelmog, Devon Stos and Eagle point guard Nick Vogts, who will be out until January because of knee surgery.
“Those guys accounted for a lot of points last year,” Sims said. “Those will be our major contributors on the varsity level.
“You can throw Tyler Miller in there, too. Hopefully he’ll get some buckets for us to help ease the burden on other people.”
Sims said these players bring a lot of leadership and experience, and they know what he expects.
“Last year, being my first year, it was kind of a process,” he said. “This year, I can already tell I don’t have to go back and say the same things over and over. The older guys pick up on things, know what I want, know what I expect, and to me that’s very helpful.”
Sims said he expects his team will be good on the defensive end, but may struggle to score.
“We’ve tweaked some things this year, so hopefully we can put ourselves in better position to be successful in terms of shooting the basketball,” he said.
“The majority of us aren’t going to put the ball in from outside of 15 feet, so we have to make sure we do some things to help that out.”
The Eagles’ primary scorers are likely to be Koehn and Moddelmog, who can both shoot from the perimeter.
“Taylor’s grown bigger, so we’re looking for some bigger things from him,” Sims said. “He started to come on late in the year as he got more confidence. Hopefully that can transition over into this year.”
Vogts also is expected to play a big role when he returns.
Meanwhile, Canton-Galva has a challenging schedule ahead of them.
“Our league’s always going to be tough,” Sims said. “There have been times in our league where we’ve been a severe underdog, but I do think this year our league is going to be a bit more even across the board.”
Sims’ seniors have said it’s their goal to have a winning record by Christmas and to finish among the top five teams in the Heart of America league.
“We try not to get into overall record, because that’s going to play out how it’s going to play out at the end of the year,” he said. “But those are some things that are important to these seniors, who haven’t really seen that kind of success.”