A lot of new faces will be roaming the sidelines for Bryan’s boys basketball team this season. But they are excited to get the ball rolling.
First-year coach Brock Homier, a former two-time all-Ohioan for Continental High School, will be guiding a young team that features four seniors, three letterwinners and some athletic underclassmen.
“Things are going well. We’re getting to know each other and they’re buying into what we’re telling them,” said Homier, who took over for Brandon Fisher (59-57 record in five years) in early May. “Credit to them, we’re throwing a lot of stuff at them. But it’s going well.
“I’m having fun, I think the boys are enjoying themselves and we’re trying to get better everyday.”
The Golden Bears finished the 2020-21 campaign 4-17 overall, including 2-5 in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League. It ended a stretch of four straight winning seasons at Bryan.
Seniors Craig Jackson (6-foot-4) and Carter Brown (5-9), as well as junior Evan Cox (6-1), are the lone letterwinners returning for Bryan.
“They’re definitely our leaders right now,” Homier said. “Their experience is a huge confidence boost, I feel, for them.
“A lot of the other guys have zero experience on varsity, so it’s a big jump... They’re being leaders and they’re listening and they’re being coachable, so there’s not much more I can ask out of them.”
Jaylin Damron (6-1) and Logan Moss (6-0) round out the senior group for the Golden Bears, while juniors Ayden Pelz (5-9) and Joe Watson will also look to contribute.
Sophomores Jase Kepler (5-10), Maddox Langenderfer (6-1) and Sam Herold (5-11), who played key roles on the Golden Bears’ football team in the fall, could make an immediate impact on the hardwood as well, along with freshman Carter Dominique (6-1).
“We are definitely an athletic group,” Homier said. “We just need to put the basketball in the hoop and really just play as hard as possible on defense and use our athleticism to our strength.”
With an undersized roster, rebounding and playing solid defense will be critical for the Golden Bears this season.
“Taking care of the ball and obviously our defense, we’re going to take a lot of pride in because a lot of that has to do with effort and we’re trying to make that one of our main goals is to just play extremely hard,” Homier said.
The Golden Bears will have to replace a tall and physical senior class from last year that included first-team all-NWOAL selection Titus Rohrer. The 6-foot-7 forward led the NWOAL in scoring (15.4 points) and was second in rebounding (7.5) during the regular season.
Canon Lamberson (6-3, honorable mention NWOAL), Decota Shaw (6-4), Keith Huard (6-1) and Braiden Showalter (5-10) also played key roles for the Golden Bears.
“On paper, we’re losing a ton of size and a ton of points, but I think with the way we’re going to run things and the way these guys are going at it right now, I’m hoping we can cover up some of those holes that we’re losing,” Homier said. “As a new coach coming in, these guys have been really good at listening and buying in to what I’m saying. I really couldn’t ask for a better group.
“They’ve all been extremely coachable and their attitudes have been very good so far. Right now, we’re taking baby steps and just looking at one day at a time and get better each day.”