After graduating seven seniors from last year’s squad, the BFA-St. Albans boys basketball team is ready to reload for the upcoming 2021 season with a new cast of players.
It’s a challenge that head coach Matt Toof is excited about heading into the season.
“We will fill a rather large leadership void this season,” said Toof, who is entering his seventh year as head coach of the varsity team. “We will present different leadership opportunities throughout the season. Assistant coach Dan Reyome has encouraged the mantra ‘Calm, Confident, Focused’ with the team. It has served as a great reminder for the guys through the extended preseason.”
The team will turn to big man Case Ballard, who they are looking to be a force in the post for his senior year campaign.
“We are excited to see what Case can do,” said Toof. “He put in additional work by participating in a speed and agility program in the offseason. We get the sense that he knows this is his last year at BFA in the way he plays and leads the team.”
The team will also be looking for juniors Colin and Peter Jolley to be options from behind the 3-point line throughout the season.
Sophomore Noah Earl is also someone that Toof has his eye on to contribute this year.
“He has worked on his jumper in the offseason,” said Toof. “We anticipate a big jump in his growth from his freshman year.”
There are four newcomers on the team that Toof is excited to see how they fare at the varsity level in juniors Thomas Demar, Justin Brown, Dakota Wry and Connor Leach.
“Thomas brings a high basketball IQ and he is crafty on both ends,” said Toof. “Connor and Dakota bring high intensity to everything we do. And Justin should be able to play both the wing and the post for us. Coach Reyome has been impressed with Brown’s footwork during post drills.”
The team went 13-7 last season and fell in the first round of the playoffs for the second year in a row.
They are excited to get back on the court to play other schools after the extended preseason and kick the season off with a game against Milton on Friday.
“We had two weeks of tryouts this year, which is much more than our typical three nights of tryouts,” said Toof. “Since we had to do non-contact drills for the first two weeks, it gave us an opportunity to work on fundamentals. With the slow start and no scrimmages, we are ready for the season.”