Zanders Brings New System, Game Plan

by Ben Lucas

Storm men’s basketball is returning this year with a new head coach and high spirits.

Head Coach Charles Zanders accepted the head coaching position in April 2010, and he is looking to build a strong basketball program that is capable of competing in the tough Iowa Conference.

Zanders’ highly successful career at Hoover High School, where he had a record of 100–39 in six seasons, gives him the experience needed to help prepare the Storm for many victories. He said he looks forward to the challenges his new position brings.

“I had an opportunity,” Zanders said. “I thought it was a great challenge, something new and decided to jump on it. I’m excited about the team; they are extremely hard workers, committed to doing things. We’ll be fun to watch.”

Zanders knows there are many obstacles to overcome, including intense competition both at home and on the road.

“The Iowa conference is one of the toughest in the country,” Zanders said. “One of my jobs as coach is to get us mentally tough enough to compete on the road and physically tough to compete all the time.”

Specifically, Zanders hopes to focus during practice on building a strong defensive unit that is able of creating opportunities under the basket.

“We will practice at excelling in all aspects of defense and rebounding,” Zanders said. “It’s what our entire program is built around.”

Senior JJ Vanderheiden, a center working hard to adopt the new methods enacted by Zanders, believes the team will benefit from this change as soon as it fully adapts.

“The biggest challenge this year for our team is learning a new system,” Vanderheiden said. “Having a new coaching staff and new offenses and defenses has produced a learning curve that we are all adjusting to. The offense and defense will come with time as long as we all believe in it.”

Junior Zack Barragan, starting guard on the team, assumes that a successful season will partially depend on maintaining momentum throughout the game.

“The major challenge for our team this year is pulling out the close victories,” Barragan said. “Last year, we were in all of our games but then hit a drought of not scoring. This year I think if we can put a solid 40 minutes of basketball together we will win a lot of games and be an exciting team to watch.”

Besides the defensive changes to the game plan, Barragan notes how Simpson’s offense will require a lot of careful work to get it right, but he also stands ready for the challenge.

“Since we have a new coach and have a new offensive system, we also have to perfect our offense even more and focus on the little things,” Barragan said. “I have a lot of confidence that our coaching staff will get us prepared every day and that my teammates will play to the best of their abilities.”