The Eads Eagles were 6-14 a year ago when Marcus Gilmore took the reins in Eads. During that season they were young with freshman Brigden Parker leading the way with 18.0 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. Unfortunately, Parker moved to Holly and will suit up for the 2A Wildcats this season.
Eads also lost three seniors to graduation who eventually developed into solid players.
Now, in his second year as the head coach, Gilmore has his work cut out for him as he only has one starter, senior Blake Stoker, returning to the lineup. Stoker scored 5.8 points per game last year and pulled down 4.2 boards per game.
Two other players saw some court time including junior Dillon Hernandez and sophomore Hatch Nelson.
Otherwise, the entire team is without varsity experience, although Gilmore has some nice athletes who have grown and have put some time in the gym during the off season.
According to Gilmore, “Again we will lack the experience of varsity minutes, but I don’t feel that issue will last long. Of course, we will make young mistakes, but we have proven to ourselves we can learn fast and adjust. We will need to find our identity in a hurry.”
Gilmore will also look at sophomore Damian Barnes who is a very athletic player. He has some size and good speed but will take some time to develop.
Junior Keaton Coen could also help. Coen did not play during his sophomore year but has potential and good basketball sense. Gilmore also is happy to welcome junior Alex
Schmidt from Plainview onto the team. Schmidt has been playing JV level ball and hopes to help Eads in the guard position.
Two sophomores who saw some good JV time last year and who understands the game are Brandon Lening and Joe Hasse.
Finally, Eads has five freshmen joining the team this year including Cade McDowell, Ty Wilson, Ross Brown, Donte Sierra, and Will Crow.
Gilmore discussed the conference this year. “Kit Carson and Cheraw will definitely be our toughest opponents in the district this year. McClave won districts last year and have a few guys back from that squad so they will be improved too. Cheyenne Wells lost a lot and will be young like us. Granada is rebuilding, and we handled them fairly easy twice last year. It seems we have a great opportunity this year to put Eads basketball back in the winning column of our district.”
Gilmore was pleased how his boys showed up for practice this year. “After a year in the books I can really tell we are headed in the right direction. It took us all last year to get everything turned around. We are miles ahead of where we started a year ago. Fundamentally everything stuck! Physically our timing couldn’t be better. Every guy has matured and grown a few inches. Practice wise, we know the drill and now we can start to grow as players.
Eads will start their 2018-2019 campaign this week on Friday, November 30 when they host a non-conference game with Flagler/Hi-Plains. The games begin at 4:00 pm with JV games announced sometime this week.