Brand-New Bruins ‘Looking to Surprise’

Zach Piatt
Sports Editor

The Northrop Bruins’ boys’ basketball team is gearing up for the 2015-16 season with a depleted roster and a new head coach.

Coach Rod Chamble replaced Barak Coolman, who led Northrop to a 14-11 record last year.

“We have such a great group of student-athletes who have worked hard in the offseason adjusting to the new coaching system,” says Chamble. “There is a lot of optimism and excitement. The team appears very focused at this point.”

Losing Coolman came as a bit of a shock to both the players and the rest of the school. Not only did the Bruins have to find a new coach, they also had to deal with the loss of three starters from the previous season. Ray Walker and Anton Berry transferred. Walker started at point guard and was well on his way to breaking Northrop’s assist record. Berry led the Bruins in rebounds and racked up many double-doubles. 6’6’’ Aaron Thomas, last year’s starting center and leading shot blocker, graduated along with fellow big man Nigel Kilby (6’7’’), taking away much of Northrop’s size.

“We are piecing the puzzle and everything is starting to fit,” said junior guard, Richard Robertson.

The Bruins are confident they can do better than their 14-11 (5-4 SAC) season last year. Northrop made it to the sectional championship, losing in the final game against Carroll. Returning players believe Coach Chamble is leading them in the right direction.

“Coach Chamble is great,” says Robertson. “He gives a way different vibe than last year. He pushes us in all aspects and doesn’t talk much talk.”

“I love Coach Chamble,” says junior guard, Darius Craig. “The style he plays in is right up my alley and he’s making the decisions to help me in college.”

Chamble is bringing an intense, competitive spirit to the Northrop basketball program. His players like him and his passion for basketball is through the roof.

“I feel players understand that I truly love this game and want this program to exemplify that same zeal,” says Chamble. “It’s important to me that young players understand wanting to be good at anything takes hard work, discipline, commitment, and joy. If they want something in life they have to go and earn it.”

Northrop’s leading scorer from last season, Jagger Surface, is returning as a senior leader and will play a huge role in the Bruins’ offense. Robertson will also have to contribute more scoring after being more of a facilitator last year. Craig was one of the first men off the bench last season and could step into the point guard position. Sophomore Jalan Mull played sparingly as a freshman last year

and will have a much more important role this season.

“Our goal is to get better on and off the court each day-coaches and players,” said Chamble.

With the loss of six players from the previous season and Northrop’s lack of size and experience, many are doubting the Bruins. The players, however, are welcoming the critics and staying focused.

“We’ll put up a good fight in the SAC, but many don’t believe it,” says Craig. “All we have to do is stay locked in and buy into the coach’s philosophy.”

“”If everyone keeps working hard, we will be on track for a good season,” says Robertson. “We are looking to surprise a lot of people.”

The Bruins play their first regular season game on Wednesday, November 25 at home against Dekalb at 7:45 p.m.

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