KOHL MEYERS will be a key piece of the Kingswood boys’ basketball team this winter. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
December 12, 2011WOLFEBORO — There are plenty of basketball shoes to fill in Wolfeboro this winter.
Kingswood boys' hoop coach Dan Chick saw a large class of seniors graduate last year and will be turning to some new faces to join the few holdovers from last season for a new winter of basketball.
"We've got a lot of kids involved," Chick said. "But we're going to miss everything we got from those seniors last year. There are some big shoes to fill, with points, with rebounds, on defense, with hard work and good leadership."
The veteran coach pointed out that the Knights have had great leadership from senior classes over the last few years and thus, many of the younger players have not had to step up into leadership roles, so they are learning on the job this year.
"They haven't had to do much leading the last few years, but they're learning," Chick said.
The Knights will return just two starters from last year's team, plus three other players with varying levels of experience on the varsity court.
Kohl Meyers was a key cog in last year's team and will bring his scoring touch to his senior season and will be joined by classmate Zach McKenzie as the lone returning starters from last year's team. Chick expects them to be two of the team's big scoring threats, but he knows other people will have to chip in as well.
Mackenzie Tetreault returns to the hardwood as a junior. He saw some time as a sophomore last winter, but injuries limited his contributions in the late part of the season. He will be viewed as a possible outside scoring threat.
Senior Adam Fritchy also saw a good amount of time on the varsity court last year and Chick notes that he is very good in transition and should be a key part of the offense moving forward.
Senior Chad Peterson saw limited time on the varsity level last year, but will be counted on to score points in the paint this season.
"Our experience is mainly in Kohl and Z-Mac (McKenzie)," Chick said. "There's a lot of learning going on right now."
The team practiced the first 13 days of the preseason before taking a day off, but Chick noted that everyone has been positive and has been working hard to move the team in the right direction.
The Knights will not have a lot of height, so Chick is looking for everyone to step up in one way or another to help the team compensate for that lack of size.
"We have to make up for that in other ways," he said. "Everybody has to be involved in rebounding and everyone has to play the best defense they can and we have to be able to run the floor when the lanes are available."
The veteran coach said that he doesn't have a lot of complicated schemes or plans, so learning the offense and defense should be easier for the younger kids to catch on to.
"We try to keep it as straightforward as we can, that way no one is left in the dust trying to learn our offense and defense and out of bound plays," Chick said.
Chick will also roll with a couple of new seniors, as Slayd Dore is out for the team and Darren Duncanson returns after a year off. Andrew Place and Parker Shure are making the jump from the JV level to the varsity.
In addition to Tetreault, Ben Burrows and Zach Smithwood represent the junior class and both will be moving up from JV. Tom Berry and Adam Szezwyck are also juniors and will be splitting time with the varsity and the JV, along with sophomores Shawn Roseen, Tom McCollough and Mike Garabedian.
"They understand their role," Chick said. "They get JV time every game and may see time at varsity."
Chick said that the goal this year will be the same as last year, which is to take just one game at a time.
"I don't think anybody's looking ahead to the Christmas tournament or the alumni game," Chick said. "We're all focused on Laconia."
The Knights will also have a new gym to call home, as the Kingswood facility nears completion. Chick said the new facility is beautiful and he is excited to get the chance to play in it.
One of the positive things about it is the fact that the new practice gym will allow more than one practice to go on at once, meaning the nights of practices running until after 8 p.m. will hopefully be over.
"That gets old in a three and a half month season," Chick said.
Kingswood will open the season with a trip to Laconia on Tuesday, Dec. 20, for a 6:30 p.m. game. That will be the team's lone game prior to the holiday break. The first home game of the season is set for Tuesday, Jan. 3, against Plymouth.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at email@example.com or 569-3126