EDON — After a year as a volunteer assistant on the bench for the Edon boys basketball team, Andrew Kiess is set to take over as head coach for the team next season. Kiess has been a member of the community for decades, where he’ll hope to restore a winning program at Edon.
“We’ve got a nice group of kids coming back and when the position opened up, I thought about it long and hard if I really wanted to get back into coaching,” Kiess said. “But when it came available, I decided to throw my hat in there and try to make a difference for Edon boys basketball.”
He was previously the girls basketball coach at Edon, where he coached current girls basketball coach Caela Walker, then Caela Mohre. But with his daughter, Alex, getting older, he didn’t want to be a part of coaching as she rose to the high school level. She recently graduated as a basketball player from Wittenberg, which led to Andrew getting back into the coaching ranks.
But for one season, he’ll have the chance to coach his son, Austin, in his senior year of high school.
“He plays hard, he’s just got to play a little bit smarter,” Andrew said. “It’s going to be a pleasure. I’ve always been able to manage personnel with other kids, and I’ve coached a lot of these kids through little league, through youth football. To coach him is going to be a thing that I’ll enjoy.”
One of the things Andrew wants to change at Edon for next season is the shooting on the team, which he hopes will come from Austin and a few other upperclassmen who have rejoined the program.
As a team last year, the Bombers shot just 34 percent from the field and scored 41.1 points per game. The team finished 5-17 overall and 4-8 in the Buckeye Border Conference.
“We’re really doing a lot of shooting this summer and that’s just one of the items we have to get better at,” Andrew said. “It’s almost like a summer of shooting for us, we’re just going to shoot, shoot, shoot and shoot. We are trying to figure out what it means to get the other players involved on our team.”
Andrew will have some experience back next season, as five freshmen on last year’s team earned varsity playing time, including leading scorer Drew Gallehue. He averaged 14.8 points per game and 7.5 rebounds.
Point guard Tatum Schaffter, who averaged 8.7 points per game is set to return, too. Austin averaged 10.3 points per game, in addition to five rebounds per game. But with some new additions to next year’s team, there’s hope that the team will have the numbers it needs to have depth throughout the program.
“Sometimes you play youth because you have to, because you don’t have the participation that you need,” Andrew said. “So far, we’ve had some older kids come back into the program for summer workouts. There’s no guarantee they’re going to be here in the wintertime, but I feel really good that they’re going to be. If that’s the case, then it’s going to give us a little time to develop these younger kids properly through the JV channel.”
The process is just starting but there’s hope for a better future at Edon.
“I’ve always been through Edon, been at Edon ballgames, even as a kid,” Andrew said. “My wife and I have been here for forever it seems like, 30 years she’s been a teacher here. I’m an Edon Bomber, inside and out. I’ve been here a long time and do what I can to help the community.”