Talk about a rebuilding year!
The varsity Austin Eagles have a plethora of new faces making up the 2010-2011 team, but Coach Mike Deaton is preparing this group for a tough year and some mighty tough games ahead.
Senior Travis Pate is the only returning starter from the Eagles team of 2009-2010 that went 15-7 and scored 33 wins in the past two seasons, the fourth best record for two consecutive seasons in the history of school athletics.
It’s not that Coach Deaton’s Eagles will have just Pate as a senior, however. Andrew Clark, Lawyer Wintin, Arlie McIntosh and Austin newcomers Logan Barrett and Steven Branaman are all seniors. Wintin and McIntosh played junior varsity last year; Barrett and Branaman are both transfers whose potentials have not yet been tapped.
These seniors are joined by juniors Cameron Draper and Mark Winchester as well as sophomores Ben Baker, Mitch Stagnolia, Jake DeWitt, Cody Hendrix and Cody Lesnet and freshman Chris Mayfield.
This mix of players hasn’t “settled” yet, noted Coach Deaton. “It may take us four to five games before we find that magic mix of people who play well together on the court,” he advised.
After just six days of practice, the coach is beginning to gt an idea of what he has and how everyone is going to fit together. The scrimmage with Salem on Wednesday night, November 17, is going to help him make some decisions.
“If they all work hard in the gym and do it with good attitudes, the wins and losses will take care of themselves. They’ve got to give the effort if we are going to have a good season,” Coach D said.
Junior varsity players will probably include DeWitt, Hendrix, Lesnet, Stagnolia and Mayfield, who all need some playing time, as well as sophomores Jeremy Nease and Jake Lay and freshmen Josh Turner and Josh Vires.
Looking at the Mid-Southern Conference, Coach Deaton said he felt Corydon, Eastern and Brownstown will be tough to beat this year. “Corydon has everybody back, so that’s a big plus for them. Eastern and Brownstown also have a lot of returning players, and Scottsburg will be in the mix of things, I think,” he related.
The team’s first ballgame is at home against county rival Scottsburg on Wednesday, November 24, in Rigel Gym. Fans are urged to get there early to enjoy all the action. The game will also be televised on Insight Cable Channel 25.