ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
Goessel High School boys’ basketball coach Justin Coup returns for his eighth season at Goessel after the Bluebirds compiled an 8-15 record last season, including a 2-8 mark in the Heart of America League.
A semifinals loss to Lebo in sub-state play ended the 2004-05 season.
After a highly successful football season, Coup and his players have traded their cleats for sneakers and hope to duplicate their success on the basketball court.
To do so, Coup (88-67) will have to rely on only two seniors in addition to a well-seasoned group of juniors and sophomores.
“Once again we’ll be young,” Coup said. “However, experience is something we definitely have. These boys played a lot as freshmen, sophomores and juniors, which should help us this year.”
Goessel returns four starters plus two other letter-winners.
Justin Fensky, a 5-foot, 11-inch senior, averaged 6.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists last season from his guard position.
Last year’s top returning scorer is 5-10 junior point guard Travis Buller, who averaged 8.0 points and 2.1 assists.
Also returning is 6-2 junior Garrett Hiebert, who averaged 7.1 points and 7.9 rebounds, along with junior Jordan Voth (6-2), who averaged 7.1 points and 1.3 assists.
Senior center/forward Tyler Schroeder (6-3) averaged 5.9 points and 5.2 rebounds last year.
Coup’s other returning letter-winner is 5-5 junior point guard Brett Goerzen, who scored 2.9 points and dished out 1.5 assists per game.
“Our chemistry will be an asset this year,” Coup said. “Everyone worked hard in the off-season and worked together.”
Making the jump from junior varsity are juniors Nathan Amstutz, a 6-3 center/forward, and Sheldon Goerzen, a 5-9 guard, along with sophomore Nathan Ensz, a 6-6, center.
Amstutz scored 9.8 points and hauled in 7.9 rebounds in JV play; Goerzen scored 4.4 points and dished out 1.6 assists and Ensz poured in 12.1 points while grabbing 9.6 rebounds.
“I look for us to be competitive each night,” Coup said. “How many games we win will depend upon our commitment to the defensive end of the floor. A strength of ours will be our depth and our speed,” he added. “Advancing to the sub-state semi-finals last year will help us this year.”
Coup said he hopes the success enjoyed at Goessel High School already this year will continue.
“With great success in our cross-country and football teams this fall, I feel competitiveness will carry over to the basketball floor.”