Photo: Trever Heinle looks to give KHS a lift at guard. File Photo
“Kids know what the expectations are,” says Johnson
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—In KHS coach Brian Johnson’s first year, he had the pleasure of Dave Dudzinski in the post.
His second year featured the first conference title for Knight hoops since the Reagan years.
What wrinkle shows itself in the 2011-12 campaign?
“I think its the group that’s been with us now three years,” Johnson said. “Practices go a lot smoother. There’s not as much downtime. Kids know what the expectations are.
Those that are counted on to take up the slack with departure of personnel like Chaon Denlinger, Zach Ringhouse, Tyler Callaghan and Daniel Helm will be returnees like guards Trever Heinle, Drew David, Tyler Heinle as well as senior forward Bryan Van Bogaert.
“Nothing’s a surprise to these kids and they are ready to help,” Johnson said. Tyler made a name for himself in the Rochelle game last year and Trever has put so much time into being a better player.
New varsity additions that are counted on to make an impact for Knight hoops are senior transfer Marcel Neil, formerly of West Aurora, at guard, and junior guard Dan Miller.
“The new guys on varsity this year have already improved in a short time,” Johnson said.
New varsity additions also include sophomore Tyler Carlson, sophomore John Pruett, junior Clay Denlinger, guard Thomas Williams, junior Noel Delgado and junior Matt Limbrunner.
Johnson takes pride in the team’s court awareness.
“Losing guys from last year like we had isn’t good for any program, but the kids have resilience and want to continue to get better,” Johnson said.
The Knights begin their quest to improve their 17-9 mark and conference title from a year ago beginning with the Windmill Classic in Batavia on Wednesday, Nov. 23.