This year the Wolverines come together with 11 varsity young men, all who have played together in the past, giving the team a strong core of returning kids from last year. With lightning speed and height, the Friday Harbor boys’ basketball team will be hard to beat.
Coach Rod Turnbull says “we’re expecting a lot from last year’s group.” These guys will have chemistry again this year, vying to get that league title.
Though some good players graduated, seniors Luke Stromberg, Kyle Jangard, Danil Sonjaya, and juniors Eli Cooper-West, John Gustafson, all have experience on the court together on varsity last year. New to the varsity team are Jake Lowe, junior, and sophomores Simon Vincent, Calfin Taufuk, Stanley Patrick, Isaac Mayer, and Joe Stewart.
With seniors Kyle Jangard at 6 feet and 6 inches, and John Gustafson at 6 feet 2 inches, and sophomore Simon Vincent as posts, the team has some height in the paint.
The team also has speed and good ball-handling skills in senior Danil Sonjaya and junior Eli Cooper-West at point. Overall, the Wolverines have pretty good movement down the court and under the basket.
Some new faces and positions might need some time to get used to. These guys have played together in the off season and are pretty focused right now. They have worked pretty hard to get where they are at.
When talking about the team dynamic, Turnbull says that the Wolverines act like there is “more than a single guy out there, and that’s what we are looking for.”
Last year, the Wolverines tied for the league title and were in the top 16. The returning kids will have their chance to get there again and are looking for the opportunity to go further this season.
The teams to beat are La Conner and Orcas, tough teams with great programs and players. Mt. Vernon Christian always makes the Wolverines work hard league title as well.
The Wolverines have some size they want to make sure they use when needed and most kids are committed to the overall program, almost every kid plays at least one other sport together. Coach Rod Turnbull, after 13 years as the Wolverines coach, says that he is expecting a lot from last year’s group. They will have to come together, with players filling new roles on the court.
“The level we got to last year, hopefully got them hungry. Our goal this year is go one level higher and make that happen,” said Turnbull.
With 12 more guys on JV this year, the Wolverines have a great chance to compete under the new JV coach Dan Williams. As a longtime coach, Williams is a “big asset to the program,” said Turnbull.
The Wolverines don’t have to win alone this year. After a year without any cheerleaders, Friday Harbor has a squad of 10 young ladies that are excited to cheer for some great athletes on both the boys and girls basketball teams.