Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 30 November 2010 17:29
The Peabody-Burns boys’ basketball team will have a new look and a new league home this season after a successful 2009-10 campaign in which the Warriors finished 16-5 overall and 8-3 in the Heart of America League.
All five starters and a key contributor from that team graduated last spring.
Coach Brian Simmonds will begin his third year as head boys’ coach with only one returning varsity letter-winner: Storm Pickens, a 5-foot, 9-inch senior who average 2.7 points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal a year ago.
“We will be looking for several players to step up to the varsity level as starters, and others to make contributions coming off the bench,” said Simmonds, who has a 30-12 record as PBHS boys’ coach.
The pool for those players is deep and includes five seniors: Derek Price (6-2), Jacob Gillet (6-1), Trevor Foth (5-10), Joseph Lopez (5-10) and Sean Brunner (5-8).
Simmonds’ junior class includes Brody Kyle (6-2) and Matt Hiebert (6-1) while Hunter Pickens (5-10), Austin Savage (5-8) and Seth Topham (6-2) will join the battle as sophomores.
Lucas Larson is expected to join the team after recovering from a football injury.
At this point in the preseason, Simmonds sees Price, Gillet, Hiebert and Kyle joining Storm Pickens in the starting lineup Storm Pickens, with Foth, Lopez and Brunner providing primary support off the bench.
Simmonds said all three of his sophomores “will push the upper classmen for playing time at the varsity level.”
If the team can overcome its lack of varsity experience, the Warriors should be competitive in the newly formed Wheat State League.
Joining PBHS in the WSL are Goessel, Hope, Little River, Centre, Elyria Christian, Solomon, Wakefield and White City.
The Warriors will be competing in two tournaments during the season, both within the confines of Marion County. The Warriors will join the field at Marion Dec. 7-11 and at Centre Jan. 17-22.
The season opener will Friday be at Chase County.