Big things expected from 2012-13 Briercrest men's basketball
By Jadon Frank
It will be interesting to see what veteran leadership will do for this year’s men’s basketball team.
The Briercrest squad went from being a young team to a veteran laden group within one summer. With much of the core from the 2011-12 team remaining, and two former captains in Matt Myers and Gradyn Childerhose returning for their fifth year of eligibility, big things are expected this season.
Coach Rod Adrian is back to lead the team for the second consecutive year and is looking forward to moving up in the standings.
“We have high expectations this year with the amount of veterans returning and look forward to improving our last place record from a season ago,” Adrian said. “We expect to play an up tempo game with consistent ball control and tenacious defense. We are a veteran group that has some outstanding chemistry and a desire to win.”
Adrian is looking for his veterans to lead by example.
“Kenny Boese (fifth year) led our team in scoring last year and was our MVP. I look for continued growth in leadership and control of the game,” Adrian said. “Matt Myers is returning after a year off to do missions. (He’s a) top five player in the ACAC and I expect to see him play with the kind of freedom and confidence that will set him apart. Gradyn Childerhose played at U of R last season and returns with experience and confidence. He needs to be our rock inside.”
The coach is also looking for leadership from the other returning players.
“Caleb Klassen (fourth year) is our point guard and leader on the floor. James Wohlgeschaffen (fourth year) is the “heart” of our team providing energy and athletic ability. Brandon Friesen (third year) gives us solid inside presence and defense and is developing into a consistent threat on offense. Fred Fictorie (second year) is our spiritual leader providing inspiration and leadership in evangelism."
Adrian also has high expectations of his rookies.
“Lucas Mannes is an offensive threat at guard and provides tenacious defense,” the coach said. “Josiah Cockrill is fundamentally sound and provides toughness on defense and a lethal perimeter shot. Bryn Olmstead is working through injury, and is expected to return and be a solid defender and offensive threat with a pass first mentality. Jesse Clark is a solid ball handler who brings consistent play with knowledge of the game. Josh Dalzell is a great outside shooter who is “long” on defense giving opponents a struggle to score.”
“I’m excited about how this team has come together and the camaraderie off the court that makes a big difference on the court,” Adrian added. “We have some spiritually mature men that are becoming leaders spiritually, and I look forward to telling stories about what God has done this season.”
The coach also thinks that the “FOCUS, HUSTLE, BELIEVE” theme will bring the team together around a common purpose.
“We focus on the right things, concentrating on what we have to accomplish,” he explained. “We hustle and work hard enforcing a high work ethic and accountability. We believe in each other and bring our attention to our faith in Christ as the ultimate example. We continue to ask other teams to pray with us post game at centre court to bring perspective, blessing and to break the ice to lead us into discussions with the other team about spiritual and life matters. “
The ACAC regular season will kick off with a bang, as Briecrest will open the season at home against Lakeland College Friday, Oct. 26 at 8:00 pm.
The game will provide a challenging start to the 2012-13 season.
“Lakeland’s roster includes one of our former players, Habib Habib, and they provide an early challenge,” Adrian said. “It was one of the best games of the season when we played them last year and our fans were fantastic.”
After this home weekend, the team has two long trips back to back – Grande Prairie (Nov. 2) and Fort McMurray (Nov. 9).