By Chris Parker
Missouri Sports Hall of Famer Terry Writer is returning to the sidelines as a head coach this year taking over the Spokane boys basketball team.
“The opportunity to continue my coaching career and do it at a school that is close to my home in Ozark (brought me back). I still love the game of basketball and look forward to competing against the great teams and coaches of the always tough SWCL,” Writer said.
Spokane finished 14-11 overall last year, which was the third consecutive year the Owls finished above .500. If the Owls are to do it again, they will have to replace some significant contributors. First-Team All-SWCL selection Zayne Gale transferred to Galena while honorable mention selection Jackson Bray transferred to Nixa.
Spokane still has a deep six-player senior class to lean on despite the transfers.
Daniel Newell is a 6’1 forward who averaged 7.7 points per game last year. Grant Stewart is a 6’0 returning starter who averaged 5.7 points per game. Class 2 state cross country champion Sam Shuman returns at point guard. He led the team in field goal percentage last year at 56.6% and averaged 5.8 points per game. Jacob Wiggins will be a key player in the post standing at 6’5. Jacob Wasson and Brayden Pryer were both letter winners last year and round out the senior class.
Sophomore JD Tate brings his 6’7 frame back to the Owls. Jaden McCoy is another player with good size at 6’3. Jace Leigh is a 5’7 sophomore guard who will compete for varsity minutes.
“(We will be) a deep team with good balance,” Writer said. “We have competitive kids with good team chemistry.”
Spokane opens the season on Nov. 20 at New Covenant.
“I feel that we can be very competitive against everyone on our schedule,” Writer said. “The level of our success will depend on our ability to accept their roles and put the team first.”