Koehler Looking to Set Higher Standard at Brooke
By CODY TOMER
WELLSBURG — There is a new attitude on the court at Brooke this year that Coach Cameron Koehler is very excited about.
The Bruins only collected four wins a season ago, but with his first year at the helm under his belt, Koehler and his squad are encouraged for the upcoming campaign.
“We have a lot of expectations,” Koehler said. “As a program, we don’t have a lot of wins lately but I think we are set up for a solid year.
“These kids have worked hard all summer and they have played summer ball against some higher level competition. They are all good kids, they love the game and they play together.”
The show at Brooke must go on without the presence of Chris Yachini, who picked up his diploma after a solid career for the Bruins.
He did it all as he averaged 17 points and five rebounds a game in his final season.
“What made Chris special was his aggressiveness and his athleticism,” Koehler said. “He was all over the place. He always played hard and he accomplished a lot here at Brooke.”
Despite the loss of the team leader, Brooke welcomes back eight seniors to this year’s club and that experience could help create a new tradition.
“We are looking for some guys to step up and set the new standard for Brooke basketball,” Koehler said. “The difference between last year and this year is our experience. We only have four kids who aren’t seniors, but they bond well with the seniors and they make a good group together.”
The eight seniors include guards Justin Shelton, Justin Pennybacker and Chuckie Wellman, forward Evan Cuomo, center/forward Joey Georgy, small forward Michael Spitak and center Garrett Pauls, along with center Tripp Moore, a transfer from Madonna who Koehler is thrilled to have.
“I walked into the weight room this summer and thought, ‘who is that?’,” Koehler said about the 6-foot-5 transfer student. “I was really excited when I found out he was going to play basketball. He will definitely be able to help us underneath with rebounding.
“Cuomo, Shelton and Pennybacker have all taken a big step up as leaders and Pauls had a great summer. He has really developed well and hopefully that will carry over into the season.”
The junior class is made up of three talented athletes that include guard Logan Williams, small forward Aleksey Rasz and center/forward Jimmy Willis, while forward Brennan Secrist is the only sophomore suiting up this year.
Joining Koehler on the bench are assistant coaches Larry Hood, Mike Lanigan, Bill Devault, Dan Moore and Larry Jones.