By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
WHITLEY COUNTY — Sometimes basketball coaches try to change things up from season to season as a way to throw opponents off their game. Sometimes they change things out of necessity and such is the case with the Whitley County Colonels.
Colonels’ head coach Jerry Overbey is doing the latter of the two thanks to the fact his team is lacking the proverbial big man most teams look to for post play. As the summer basketball sessions are now in full swing, Overbey said despite a few changes he likes what he has seen out of his squad so far.
“We’ve got really good numbers with about twenty-some kids out right now, but we’ve had to change our whole system due to a lack of size” Oberbey said. “We’re going to be better in the future because I’ve got a lot of sophomores, a few juniors and seniors and a lot of younger kids, but we’re lacking size right now.
“It’s really good to see the number of young kids out here when there’s so many other things for kids to do this time of year,” he added. “When you look around and see some teams struggling to get enough kids out here to have a team plus a few bench kids, it makes you feel a little bit better about the numbers.”
Last season wasn’t exactly one to remember for the Colonels or their fans. The team finished the season at 8-22 after being knocked out of postseason play thanks to a 66-47 loss to South Laurel in the 50th District Tournament.
Overbey’s squad did manage to pick up a pair of big 13th Region wins last season, knocking off Bell County in the season opener and South Laurel about midway through the year. The Colonels went on to lose nine of the final 11 games of the season after the win over South Laurel, but six of those losses were by 10 or fewer points.
Given the fact his team was in a lot of games last season, Overbey said he feels like the players returning will be able to build on last year’s experience and be able to compete with regional competition this season.
“We’ve got some kids that have played a lot of basketball,” Overbety said. “We’ve just got to get them familiar with this system and get them to buy in.
“I think we’ve got potential to compete with some of the teams in the region,” he added. “We’re really close to that point anyway and I feel like if the kids continue to put the kind of time in that they have, they’ll get even closer.”