By Amanda Perkins (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
One year after losing its two top scorers, the Cabool Bulldogs graduated five more veteran players following a 9-win season. Coach Brad Shockley will be building his team back in his sixth year at Cabool.
Seniors Brayden Grisham, Matthew Luerssen, and Saxton Green will enter their second year on varsity. Grisham is a 5’10” guard and Luerssen the team’s big man at 6’4.” He will be tasked with filling voids on both offense and defense. Standing at 6’3”, Green will also be a rebounder and defender for the Bulldogs.
Zachary Beller (6’2”, junior) has been developing his game and is an emerging leader for Cabool. Both Beller and Luerssen stepped up their game over the summer and will use their athleticism to get to the rim. “We will need both of them to contribute offensively for us to have some success,” said Coach Shockley.
Juniors Brandon Vancil, Hunter Sparks, and Colin Emery will also see playing time. Emery is a hard-nosed defender and provides the team with energy.
Improvement is the name of the game for Cabool, as inexperience will be an immediate obstacle, and stepping up their inside game will be a key.
“We want to be really patient on offense,” said Coach Shockley. “In the past, we have relied heavily on shooting the three and trying to speed the game up. By slowing the game down, we hope to limit possessions and make sure we make the most out of ours. Fast games tend to get a little wild, and with several young kids seeing time, the more under control we are, the better it will be for them.”
The Bulldogs will focus on good shot selection and fundamentals.
“I really enjoy this group of kids, and they work very hard. I feel they all accept roles and just want to win,” said Shockley.
The Bulldogs travel to Seymour November 27 for their first season match-up.