ELYRIA – The 2021-22 season for the Elyria Christian boys basketball program was dominated by youth and underclassmen, something which they will still be counting on for improvements and upgrades to find success in 2022-23 with hopes of making a run for the state tournament in March.
Once again guiding the Eagles will be Zach Goodrich who is entering his seventh season as the leader of the boys program. Goodrich has put together a formidable 94-44 record over his first six seasons that includes a 14-7 overall mark in 2021-22 while they finished 8-1 as runner-up in the Wheat State League.
First project for the upcoming season will be to replace the size they lost to graduation in six-foot-four postman Keyan Wiggers and six-foot forward Ben Unruh.
Looking toward the upcoming season, coach Goodrich said, “We have an opportunity to be competitive. One area we want to get better throughout the season is building disciplined habits. I believe being another year older and having some key returning pieces, that should be a possibility for us. We want to stack good days of practice on top of each other to build those good habits. It will take some time to identify our roles as we are still a heavy underclassmen team, but the lessons we learned at the end of last season will hopefully accelerate the process.”
The 2022-23 Eagles will be built around the nucleus of six-foot-two sophomore Ty Romero who averaged 11.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.4 assists per game last season, plus six-foot junior Johnny Unruh who hit for 8.8 points, and grabbed a pair of rebounds, steals and assists per game, five-foot-six senior Caleb Laney with his 6.7 points, 2.6 assists and 1.9 steals, six-foot-one sophomore Landen Schneider and six-foot-one junior James Schott.
“Ty (Romero) is a solid young player, and we will look for him to grow in all areas of his game this season,” noted coach Goodrich. “We asked a lot of him as a freshman and will ask even more this season as we want him to be efficient offensively and defensively. Landon (Schneider) and James (Schott) will be moving into more contributing roles, and I expect their production to increase with more opportunity and experience. Caleb (Laney) returns with a year of experience in our program and should be able to find ways to make us better with his headiness and ball handling ability.”
One key newcomer that has caught the eye of the coaching staff is six-foot-two junior Alex Robertson.
According to coach Goodrich, “Alex Robertson is a newcomer that we expect to have an immediate impact and give us another heady decision maker and consistent threat from beyond the arc. He has good length and instinct that will help us improve our level of play on both sides of the ball.”
Speaking of the schedule for 2022=23, the coaches explained, “Our schedule will help us prepare for postseason competition as we have Class 2A traditional powers Berean Academy, Moundridge, and Sedgwick that will present challenges of being disciplined and playing sound basketball for a full thirty-two minutes. We want to get better every day, and hopefully throughout the season make the improvements necessary to be the best team we can be come February and March.”
Coach Goodrich concluded his pre-season reflections by talking about the Heart of America League and saying, “both Marion and Central Christian provide extremely competitive contests. Our league will present growing challenges and prepare us to play on the road. We go on the road to play Little River and Centre which are two difficult places to play if you are not ready to go. We have Goessel and Solomon at home and both teams are well coached to compete and make your team work for everything.”
The Eagles open their 2022-23 season on Friday, December 2 hosting Moundridge.
(The Staff covering McPherson County Activities can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org)