Eagles ready to start the season

Published 3:00 am Saturday, November 26, 2016

After making it to the doorstep of the Class 2A Final Four a season ago, the Goshen Eagles began practice with a lot of excitement.

“We are very excited as a staff and as a team,” said Eagles head coach Ethan Carroll. “We hope to pick up where we left off last year. We have a lot of unfinished business.”

The Eagles return all but one player from last season.

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“We had our goal to get to Birmingham,” Carroll said. “We came up short. A lot of teams can look at that and say ‘what a great season.’ Our kids didn’t. We lost by one point. We now understand how important one point is, how important second chance points are, turnovers and free throws are.”

The Eagles don’t plan on resting on their success from a year ago.

“We are trying to build up every game we plan,” Carroll said. “It’s time for the kids do what they have been taught.”

The Eagles will run the gauntlet early this season by playing 17 games in the month of December.

“We have to make sure our kids view each game as a learning process,” Carroll said. “It’s not going to be pretty at the beginning. We are trying new things this year that we think matches up with our kids athletic ability.”

The Eagles have 11 juniors on the roster and are led by Michael Hollis and Zach Alford.

“We are still trying to build basketball players, not athletes,” Carroll said. “They have kind of bought in to what we are trying to do. We preached all last year to fall in love with the process. I think we are trying to understand what it’s going to take to get to where we want to go.”

Carroll enters his second season as head coach and while the players are continuing to grow into his system, he is continuing to learn about his players.

“They (fellow coaches) all tell me that the second year in transition is going to be easier,” Carroll said. “The players kind of get to know you. It’s still very nerve wracking at times.”

The Eagles will be entered in a two area for the 2016-2017 season, one that consists of Luverne, Calhoun and Central Hayneville.

“They are three traditional basketball schools,” Carroll said. “Their coaches do a tremendous job. The players are athletic and basketball is big.”

The Eagles will begin play on December 1 when they host Highland Home.