By Matt Nestor
If Head Coach Aaron Pearson gets his way, this won’t be your same old Belvidere Bucs.
For a long time, the Bucs have been a bottom-tier basketball school in the NIC-10. But with four of five starters returning, a good group of newcomers, the Bucs hope to make a move to the top half of the conference.
“Our goal is to stay in the middle of the pack in the conference and be above .500,” Pearson said. “This group of kids is a great group. There is a lot of excitement, and we hope to get people back around the program.”
The Bucs have a good mix of depth and experience. Back are seniors Bobby Pester, Cameron Hunter, Cody Colquett and Jake Vincent. Mix that in with sophomore Kane Steger, who played heavy minutes as a freshman, and 6-foot-7-inch sophomore Ian Carlson, the reason for optimism is obvious.
“Our strength is with our seniors and our leadership,” Pearson said. “I hope it helps us take things slow and one game at a time. I think our experience is going to help us this year. Last year, it really hurt us. I hope it gets us through some close games, because there are going to be a lot of them.”
While the Bucs are excited about all the returners, they are quick to realize there are things that need to be fixed.
Last year, the Bucs were a team that averaged 20 turnovers a game—way too many to stay competitive. On top of that, Belvidere was one of the worst rebounding teams in the conference.
Pearson is confident, however, that the turnovers will become few and far between and that if his team can solidify the rebounding margin, they will have a chance to accomplish their goals.
“We feel like we have a pretty big team this year,” he said. “We have a lot of guys who can get up around the rim level. If we don’t box them out, it doesn’t matter.”
And if they can fix those two problems, there is no doubt for Belvidere that they can be much better than they have in the past.
“I expect us to be more in the middle of the pack in the conference and be competitive,” Pearson said. “I feel like we can compete with anyone in the conference.”
From the Nov. 24-30, 2010 issue