INDIAN LAKE - David Olbert made the move from boys modified basketball this year to take over for coach Jim Zulo and coach the varsity Orange squad. He has been coaching for the past 24 years and has dedicated 10 of those to the Long Lake program.
Olbert inherits a winning team that held a league record of 9-2 and 15-4 overall.
They will, however, be forced to replace four starters from last year's team. Graduated seniors included Zack Mitchell, who was the team's off guard and second leading scorer; Jordan Wallace, who was the team's point guard, guard/forward, Ben Black and leading scorer Kris Bain, a forward, who is playing at Cazenovia this year. Jake Wells, a forward, who saw considerable playing time also graduate.
Matt Rush Forward / Center Matt is the only returning starter from last year's team and Olbert will be looking to him for leadership as well as his biggest scoring threat inside.
"He is a wide body and should be the best rebounder in the league," said Olbert.
Stephen Pitcher Forward Steven is familiar with the system of play under coach Zulo he has a nice shot from 15 feet forcing the defense to pay attention to him, Olbert said.
Olbert's starting five will also include Hank Evatt, a forward / guard. Evatt has not played since his sophomore year, but will have a big impact on the team's chances of success.
"He can handle the ball and shoot a bit, so he will be out in the three guard system," said Olbert.
Matt Moore, a guard, played last season and will be the other primary guard for the Orange. He can shoot a bit from the outside and will play the point if there is foul trouble, according to Olbert.
Collin Farrell will head up the point guard position.
"Although he did not get much game time experience last year he has played well in practice should be up to the task.," said Olbert.
"He to can shoot a bit so the defense will need to play him tight."
Other players that Olbert expects to contribute are Ratani Mor, Somnang Mor and Seth Hart. He has a young bench and he thinks they should improve as the season progresses. He noted that his starters are key, but he will also look to some younger members of his team as well.
"If they can play good enough defense in practice to make our starters work hard, we should do okay this season," he said.
Olbert believes that the Orange will be competitive in the division and has a good chance to win the title over Johnsburg, while Wells and Minerva\Newcomb fill in the third and fourth spots.
"Obviously. with four starters and one other player who contributed not returning to this year's team we are very short on game time experience," sail Olbert. "With a little luck and a great deal of growth I am hoping we can challenge Johnsburg. With three six foot plus forwards, we should do well on the boards and get several second chances. It will be a very competitive division and no game will be easy."