SEASON PREVIEW: LAKEVIEW
The Lakeview boys basketball program is beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Although the Sailors have a new coach and return only one senior, the young crew that remains already has a considerable amount of playing time which may make the Sailors quite competitive in the next few seasons.
Gary Burke will take over for departed coach Jim Turner and will be making his debut as a varsity head coach after stints in Windber's junior high basketball program, as an assistant for Posey Rhoades in Slippery Rock, and as an assistant on Lakeview's football and junior varsity basketball teams.
Burke has his work cut out for him as the Sailors are coming of a 3-17 season. However, the team is returning a few familiar faces to the court.
Mitch McAfoose, a 6-1 senior is the only senior. The two-year letterman will claim the swingman spot on the rotation.
"(McAfoose) averaged about 12 points (per game) last year and about five rebounds." said Burke. "He's going to be the defensive spark for us. He's able to push the ball as well as be a leader out on the floor. He'll help us through the hard times in a game."
James Charlton enters the Sailors' lineup as a 6-5, 230-pound center. He's also a two-time letter-winner playing in his junior year who averaged nearly 16 points and 11 boards a game last season.
"He's going to be that force up the middle that we can build around," Burke said. "He should defiantly be a presence for us in every game. Doing that well as a sophomore ... I only expect bigger things out of him this year."
To compliment the inside game there is also 6-3 junior returning letterman Chad Greggs.
"He's going to provide some defensive intensity for us," Burke said. "He's also going to provide some outside shooting for us, hopefully."
Jason Volaric, a 6-2 junior, will be the team's power forward.
"(Volaric) is basically going to be our defensive stopper. He's going to be pounding guys on the low post. He is very, very aggressive," Burke said.
Luke Eidenmuller will take the point for the Sailors. He's only a sophomore, but he gained enough playing time in the '99-00 campaign to earn a letter and a spot in the starting line up for the upcoming season.
"He's going to be our floor general out there," said Burke. "He had a wonderful summer and I coached him in junior high, so he kind of knows what my philosophies are and where we should be going. He's going to be my brains on the floor."
Numbers aren't a problem for the Sailors this season. Even though there's only 16 players on the roster Burke feels that he can reach deep into his bench.
"I really want to go as deep as we possibly can," he said. "I'm not going to limit playing time to six or seven guys. We have such a good group of sophomores and juniors that we're going to do what we can to get to eight, to nine, to 10 deep."
Junior Joe Bernsdorf will add some defense at guard while sophomores Adam Angstrom and the 6-3 Ned Moore will add some relief from the team's high-pressure defensive scheme.
"With the commitment these kids have given me in the off-season and their attitudes it's hard not to be excited with what the future holds for us," said Burke.
Assisting Burke is Jon Engstrom. -- By Herald writer Pete Chiodo
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