Berg begins again as EHS head coachOn paper it says that Dave Berg is beginning his third stint as the head coach of the Ellsworth High School girls basketball coach. But Berg sees himself as the new coach of a new team, which is also true on paper.
By: Sean Scallon, Pierce County Herald
On paper it says that Dave Berg is beginning his third stint as the head coach of the Ellsworth High School girls basketball coach.
But Berg sees himself as the new coach of a new team, which is also true on paper.
The Panthers lost a pretty sizeable chunk of their team from last season to graduation, such as their top three scorers in Michelle Olson, Sam Huggett, Chelsey Huppert along with Morgan Place. EHS will also be without senior Amanda Reeder, who was injured during volleyball season and is out for the upcoming basketball campaign.
Of last year’s varsity roster in November 2007, only seniors Sam Mann, Miranda Robey and Heather Raehsler are back.
But such losses can’t dampen the excitement Berg has for the Panthers young varsity roster which includes five sophomores.
“We have good team speed and quickness,” Berg said. “They can play a full-court style and they’re also very coachable and they learn fast. They’re doing all that we’ve asked of them.”
One of those sophomores will be Shannon Campbell. She saw extensive playing time as a freshman and averaged nearly seven points per game. She was also one of the league leaders in three-point shooting.
The other sophomores on the team include Courtney Stoesz, Taylor Murphy, Kayla Christopherson and Autumn Lewien.
Besides being able to get up and down the floor and play defense, the Panthers will need to improve their outside shooting to keep their offense running. Berg feels he has a good collection of shooters on the varsity squad.
“We have some legitimate outside threats in Shannon Campbell, Courtney Stoesz and Kylie Bjorkman,” Berg said. “Courtney is a very good spot shooter from outside as is Shannon.”
Bjorkman is a junior and other juniors that will see extensive playing time will be Carlie Melstrom, Kelly Kannel and Rachel Anderson. Robey will also be in the playing rotation.
“Taylor, Kelly, Carlie and Miranda are all good ball handlers,” Berg said. “What we need to be effective is taking the ball to the paint and finish.”
Not only is Berg’s enthusiasm high, so is the team’s, heading into the new season. However, Ellsworth will have to find someone to replace the Middle Border Conference’s leading rebounder in Olson, who was the Panthers’ only all-conference selection, and they’ll have to compete in a senior-dominated MBC which includes several tough opponents, including Amery, Durand, Osceola and Prescott. Ellsworth jumps right into the league schedule in their first contest next Tuesday at Prescott.
“We have an athletic team but we’re also a very young team,” Berg said. “The challenge is to find the consistency that young teams often need time to get in a league that’s going to be very tough. But no matter what, we expect to play hard and competitive in every ballgame. Once we can find that consistency, we are going to be a very tough team for any opponent to face. I think we can and we will be that kind of team.”