(Defiance, OH) As most students here know, basketball season is upon us. The excitement for the season opener Saturday November 15, 2014 versus Alma has already started.
Last year, the Jackets tied for first in the HCAC, finishing with a record of 15-3 in conference play. There have been several changes, including a coaching change, announcing Tom Heil as the new head coach.
Coach Heil had his first coaching job as a Graduate Assistant here at DC, so the transition for him when he came back as a head coach was not as difficult as it would have been for most. He also believes that being able to go to Costa Rica in the summer of 2014 with the team helped the transition happen almost seamlessly.
Heil also thanks the great senior staff that he has, 7 seniors, and 6 of those have been at Defiance beforehand. They all have major roles, and they know what it takes to win. “I think I am very fortunate to coach such an experienced and talented group my first year” says Coach Heil.
The team is not trying to worry about the future and the HCAC championship right now. The team tries to avoid looking at the big picture, and they have a “day by day” mentality. Many of the players have bought into this mentality, and they believe that when they hit the first game they will have a sense of confidence that they did all can do to prepare for this moment.
It is not just the seniors that Coach Heil is impressed with, but also the underclassmen who are buying into the mentality and learning as much as they can from the players who have been through the seasons before. With the tough schedule that DC faces there cannot be one day where they do not show up to play, and the underclassmen are starting to realize this due to the leadership by example by the upperclassmen.
Coach Heil does not believe the team is at their full potential yet and thinks they still need to get better everyday. He thinks they have a long way to go on both sides of the ball to get to where they need to be, but he is very excited and confident about the strides that this team has made.
He also believes he has a team full of competitors and has a good amount of depth right now because players are playing at such a high level all around.
The team as a whole is excited to finally start playing real games. Scrimmages are nice, but they are ready to move onto regular season and have the lights come on for real. Coach believes he has a team that loves the moment of playing in front of fans.
With the players and coaches being excited for this team to start, students here should be excited too. The first game is Saturday, November 15th at 8 PM. The team looks forward to another successful season, so come out and support.