New head coach takes reins of EHS girls' hoops teamGood potential and a willingness to learn a new system will have to suffice as optimism for the Ellsworth High School girls basketball team as the season begins.
By: Sean Scallon, Pierce County Herald
Good potential and a willingness to learn a new system will have to suffice as optimism for the Ellsworth High School girls basketball team as the season begins.
Jon Kleppe is the new head coach for the Panthers, replacing Dave Berg, who resigned.
"I am pleased with the way our team is learning a different style of play and learning a lot of new things," he said. "...The potential they have is still very good and I'm confident they can reach it over the course of a whole season."
EHS was already in a difficult spot, considering they lost all-conference seniors Lydia Kuhl and Halle Hatch along with Abbey Ristow from a squad which finished 4-19 overall, 2-12 in the MBC.
The Panthers, however, do return seven letter winners from last year's team in juniors Hayley Stoesz, Tacia Kuhl, Chelsey Strom and Briana Degross along with seniors Riley Harrison, Becca Matzek and Emily Wilbur.
"Riley is going to be a nice player for usand Emily and Becca shown very good leadership since the start of the season," Kleppe said. "Chelsey Strom is a fierce competitor along with being very quick and we have players like Tacia and Michaela who I believe are going to do very well."
Kleppe believes the team's overall speed and athleticism will help with the kind of faster, more attacking style he wants the team to play at both ends of the court.
"The kids want success but they have to trust this new style is going to work for them," he said. "They need the confidence it will. It won't be perfect but in time as they learn they will improve because I see how competitive they are."
Ellsworth is currently 1-3 on the season as of Thursday, Dec. 6.