Talk about your work being cut out for you.
Ted Carlson, the freshly hired hand at the wheel of the Enumclaw High boys basketball program, takes over a program that went 28-1 a season ago and was seconds away from claiming the Class 3A hoop crown. Those anticipating a repeat of that success should temper their expectations because there are a few components missing this time around, like the entire senior starting lineup, which was graduated last June.
But it’s not like Carlson inherited cupboards completely devoid of basketball ability.
The list of returning cagers includes tall and talented seniors D.J.. Hitch and Terren Houk, both of whom are upwards of 6-feet, 4-inches and are renowned for being tenacious rebounders.
The backcourt diamond in the rough is Dylan Fitzpatrick, who may figure prominently in this season’s grand scheme of things and could possibly settle into the challenging role of starting point guard.
Carlson maintains it is premature to be penciling in any kind of a starting lineup, but did intimate that this threesome represents the foundation of a successful squad.
Carlson isn’t about to divulge the intricacies of his playbook. When he charted the course of the Enumclaw High girls basketball programs a few short seasons ago though, his aggressive X’s and O’s added up to back-to-back appearances at consecutive WIAA state basketball tourneys in 2007 and 2008, as his philosophies and wizardry clearly worked wonders toward drawing the most out of his hoop troops.
“I suspect that coaching girls and boys basketball is equally rewarding and challenging,” Carlson said. “I just don’t think there is that dramatic of a difference in the long run. The game doesn’t change. Basketball is still basketball.”
The overall basketball configuration of the SPSL 3A will be missing a number of the elements it featured last season. Decatur has been added to the SPSL 3A mix, but White River, Clover Park, Franklin Pierce and Sumner all have moved out of the neighborhood, shifting over to the newly-formed and more densely populated SPSL 2A digs.
Carlson maintained that newcomer Decatur has, “historically cranked out very sound basketball programs and this year shouldn’t be any different.”