During a recent practice, first-year coach Jerry Bomholt squatted on the baseline and peered through his glasses as the Franklin Community High School boys basketball team practiced its full-court offense.
“Why are both post players on the same side of the court?” Bomholt shouted. “Attention to detail, gentlemen. That’s the only way we’re going to be successful.”
Although this is Bomholt’s first season at Franklin, his resume is proof he knows which details are important. After all, Bomholt has 432 victories in his 31-year varsity coaching career.
With nine letter winners, including three returning starters, Bomholt expects the Grizzly Cubs to dramatically improve on last year’s 8-14 record.
“One of my problems is I’m not really a very patient person,” Bomholt said with a smile. “So I’m expecting things to happen a little quicker. Right now, it’s not happening as quick as I’d like.
“But all of this is new to them.”
Bomholt still is getting acquainted with players and hasn’t identified all of his starters yet. But he said returning starters Keenan Wood and Nick King likely will lead the Cubs.
“We have eight guys in the mix, and it could be any of the eight,” Bomholt said. “I would expect Wood and King (to start). I would hope. But I’d say for me being new, everything else is up for grabs.”
This would be Wood’s third season as Franklin’s starting point guard. The 5-foot-11 senior averaged 16.7 points and 3.2 assists per game last year.
King, a 6-foot-5 junior forward, also started the past two seasons and averaged nine points and four rebounds per game a year ago.
Others vying for starting positions are returning starting guard Christian Dickmann, a 6-foot-2 junior; guard Branden Hardesty, a 6-foot-4 sophomore; and 6-foot-3 junior forward Bryce Platfoot.
Returners Dalton Hittle, a 6-foot-2 senior guard, senior Harrison Smith, a 6-foot-6 forward, junior Ty Thomas, a 6-foot-5 forward, and 6-foot-2 junior guard Alec Bertsch also will compete for playing time.
Bomholt said Franklin would play an up-tempo style of offense and would be known for its tough zone defense.
“I would hope when people come and watch us play, they would enjoy watching our team hustle and play hard on the defensive end,” he said. “I also would hope they would enjoy watching us play as a team, unselfishly.
“That’s kind of what we’re going to hang our hat on.”
As one of the Cubs’ leaders, Wood said his focus would shift from being the primary scorer to being a distributor.
“I’m more of a floor general now with more weapons and more experienced people,” Wood said. “My role is changed from scoring more to getting everyone involved while looking to score.”
Wood said practices are a lot more intense this season, but the Cubs are meshing well as a team. He admitted there’s a learning curve to picking up Bomholt’s game plan, but he’s confident everything is coming together smoothly.
“There are a few things that are still confusing,” Wood said. “But most of the basics have been learned. It’s just the extras of where to be at all times that we’re still working on.”
King said Bomholt’s coaching style has instilled a new toughness.
“I think we’ll be successful from the get-go,” King said. “We’ve been playing together since the third grade, and we should be fine, even though it’s different stuff.”