Eagles ready to soar

Published 3:00 am Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ethan Carroll takes the helm at Goshen this season and is excited to take over a program with a rich basketball tradition.

“I am fired up,” Carroll said. “(Principal) Major Lane is a hall of fame basketball coach at Goshen. When I was here he let me know what the expectations are. I look forward to building this program into something that it should be.”

Carroll inherits a young squad this season, with only two seniors and one junior on the roster. Eight sophomores and one freshman round out the roster.

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“We are a very young basketball team,” Carroll said. “The verdict is still out, but these kids have an opportunity to be a good team if we buy in. The biggest thing we are focusing on this year is raising expectations.”

Getting the younger players to buy in to a new coach’s philosophy is crucial.

“One of the most important things … when you talk about coaching younger kids is building trust,” Carroll said. “Once you build a brotherhood and a unity, these players will see that you care about them on a much larger scale than basketball. The winning part is easy once all that takes place.”

Carroll is quick to assess the team’s strengths. While not big in terms of height, the team is long on stamina and will be play sound defensive game. “We will be fairly long defensively,” Carroll said. “If you had to put a label on the team, we can be a streak team. We can score if we do things the right way.”

With many of the players transitioning from football, the preparation for basketball season is a challenge.

“The first week you could tell the kids were in good shape, but being in basketball shape is different,” Carroll said. “I don’t think the transition is super difficult, I think it may be harder on the kids. The important thing is that in the first few weeks we need to get out bodies right and able to move.”

The Eagles play in a competitive region, facing Luverne, Elba, New Brockton and Zion Chapel in their area.

“Elba went to two consecutive state championships in basketball,” Carroll said. “It’s going to be tough. The kids are excited for this upcoming season, but it’s not going to be a cake walk.”

For the Eagles to be successful, coach Carroll believes his team will have to buy into the process and know that with time the team could have a successful season.

“Everybody loves to win,” Carroll said. “You have to fall in love with the process that it takes to become a winning program.”

The Eagles begin their season Friday when they host Highland Home. Tip-off is after the conclusion of the girl’s game, which starts at 5:30 p.m.