By Chris Parker
Purdy Boys basketball is looking to take a big step forward in Coach Heath Carmichael’s second season as head coach. The Eagles won six games in his first season.
A trio of senior guards will lead Purdy to the floor. This group includes Bosten Goetz, Zeke Garcia and Jake Young.
Carmichael on Goetz: “Bosten Goetz will be our floor general. He’s a kid who has the ability to lead by example first with his work ethic and understanding of what’s expected, as well as being a vocal leader and keeping us together.
Carmichael on Garcia: “Lead guard/striker Zeke Garcia is another who will have to take on an important leadership role by leading by example and with his voice.”
Carmichael on Young: “Jake Young is another senior guard that others look up to and who will help lead us through his work ethic. We preach to all our players.
Goetz averaged 3.6 points per game last year. Young led the group in scoring 7.4 points per game. Garcia was right behind him at 4.7 points per game.
Players outside of the senior trio could also move into leadership roles.
“We preach to all of our players that everyone has the opportunity to be a leader in all areas and aspects of playing and coaching,” Carmichael said. “Being there for each other, supporting each other and being a great teammate is a huge consistent daily reminder/goal.”
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Sophomore Carter Keeling will be a key scorer for Purdy this season. He was the team’s leading scorer at 8.5 points per game.
Seniors Travis Hughes and Dax Henry also return. Hughes came off the bench last year, bringing shooting, defense and the ability to finish around the edge. Henry is six-foot-eight and brings rim protection.
Gauge Davidson completes the returning players. He averaged 3.7 points per game as a sophomore. Sophomore Will Henderson is a high-IQ player who saw a lot of action last season.
Junior JJ Felipe and senior Lucky Periman are newcomers who could make an impact.
“The biggest progress we’ve made is hopefully our chemistry and our play with each other,” Carmichael said. “We were able to play 15-20 games this summer and we went to the gym to shoot a lot. Getting reps with each other and getting familiar with our system was a big key with most of our core college core returning this season.
This group brings versatility to the field.
“One of our biggest strengths this year will be our defensive and offensive versatility,” Carmichael said. “We are quite balanced on the attacking side and have length on the defensive side.”
Purdy got off to a 2-0 start and will feature in Verona’s tournament championship match against Wheaton on Wednesday, November 22.
“Our identity this year is that we will be a tough-nosed, blue-collar group that takes every possession with great significance,” Carmichael said. “We will be a disciplined group on both sides of the ball and humble in who we are.”