“We will take the floor each night expecting to compete, no matter our opponent. I expect to build on last year and come away with an improved record,” said Johnson.
Although this is Johnson’s first head coaching job, this isn’t his first rodeo. He spent the last three years at Fordland as an assistant.
Nor will it be his players’ first rodeo; Johnson welcomes back plenty of experience from last year’s 14-11 squad.
Sarcoxie returns a trio of players with varsity experience led by 6’3” junior all-conference guard Justin Myers. Senior guard Austin Lynch and 6’5” junior forward Garett Triplett will also bring varsity experience to the table for the Bears.
Newcomers to the Bears’ team this year are seniors Ryder Cox, as well as 6’8” forward Adam Snowden. Junior guard Jade Bloss and 6’4” classmates Riley Anderson and Tucker Mettlach will also log heavy minutes for Sarcoxie.
In addition to the Bears’ superior Class 3 size with four players measuring at least 6’4”, last year the Sarcoxie defense held opponents under 45 points seven times last year. That defensive pressure will again be key this year.
“Our team defense and scrappiness will be the identity of the team this season. I have a very scrappy bunch that who likes to play and get after it. If we can play good defense, limit our turnovers, and control the boards we will have a very good year,” said Johnson.
Sarcoxie opens the 2012 season on Nov. 20 at Wheaton.