By Calen VanNess
The Chadwick Cardinals and first-year head coach Shawn Guerin are looking to build a new identity in Chadwick. Guerin hopes that new identity includes long-term success and many wins in the near future.
After finishing last year with a disappointing record of 4-22, a 1-5 record in the Mark Twain Conference and a first-round loss in district play, the Cardinals look to increase their success in spite of losing three talented starters in first team all-conference player Jaryd Collins, conference honorable mention Alex Hicks, and John Hicks.
Three other varsity players from a year ago will be coming back with experience that Guerin believes will be invaluable to this team’s success. Senior Gavin Herd, junior Trenton Massey and sophomore Evan Smith will be leaned upon to be leaders for the young Cardinals squad. These three players will be expected to bring leadership to the young group coming in this season.
Although there will not be much experience overall, the good news for the Cardinals is that a youth movement will begin this season that could mean even more success down the road. Jacob Stevens, Trent Nalley and Hayden Rozell are three freshmen that will look to step up and contribute immediately. What they learn as freshmen will be invaluable to them in the future.
With Guerin being a new coach with an almost entirely new team, it will not be difficult for him to implement his philosophy and style of play. Those returning are also players open to learning a new system, which shows the dedication to winning these players have.
Regardless of the growing pains the team may encounter with such a young group, Guerin knows what his team has to offer, and he expects nothing but their very best.
“We will without a doubt work hard on defense,” said Guerin. “We will be a defensive-oriented team this year, and we will improve and compete to win every time we step on the floor. We look forward to growing as a team.”
Guerin is ready to get the season underway so he can see what this team has to offer, but he knows his team will have to bring their best game every night with such difficult opponents on the schedule.
“I am super excited about this team and this season,” said Guerin. “We have a great mixture of returning talent and young talent. We know that our regular season schedule is tough, but we believe it will prepare us well for conference play as well as the district tournament.”
Chadwick kicks off their season at Billings on Nov. 22.