One game at a time

Tigers coach focuses on melding team, making improvements game to game


December 5, 2018

Joshua Wood

Your 2018-2019 Encampment Tigers Boys Basketball team: Back row, from left, Eddie Buford, Kagan Gilbert, Koye Gilbert, Dalton Peterson, Sean Stewart, Kyler Miller, Kelton Koehn, Dayne Anderson and Josh Lee. Front row, from left, Caleb Lee, Bronson Frink, J.D. Shaw, Reid Schroeder, Caysen Barkhurst and Michael Anderson.

Last year, the Encampment Tigers went to the State Championships and came home after placing third, but every new season presents new challenges. This year, the challenge for the Tigers will have nothing to do with low numbers as they boast a total of 16 student athletes on their roster. What the Tigers may have to work to overcome this year will be how to play the game without Wyatt Cox.

Cox, who was a senior last season, led the team in rebounds with 226 rebounds. There are, however, other players ready to step up and lead the team if their performances last year are any indication.

Sophomore Dalton Peterson, who played varsity as a freshman, had a total of 428 points for the 2017/2018 season.

Other returning players include juniors Reid Schroeder and Dayne Anderson and seniors Justin Shaw, Sean Stewart and Kyler Miller.

"I'm just excited for the opportunity to coach the kids again. They're a good bunch of kids. They work hard in school and they work hard in practice," said Jake Johnston, head coach of the Encampment Tigers. "Just going to look on improving what we were bad at last year, just got to keep working on defense and got to learn to rebound the ball without Wyatt Cox."

While fans from Tiger Nation wouldn't mind seeing the Encampment boys returning to State, it's not something that Johnston likes to focus on.

"You can't really talk about that. Really, there's three seasons: there's regular season, there's conference and there's postseason and if you don't play well in any of them you don't get the last one. We're just going to try and improve on what we can each week and see where it takes us," Johnston said.

The first showing for the Encampment Tigers will be this weekend at the Carbon County Classic. Encampment will start the weekend off by playing the Hayden Tigers on Friday followed by a game against St. Stephen's Eagles. On Saturday, the Tigers will play the Meeteetse Longhorns and the Dubois Rams.

Following another tournament, the Dogger Basketball Classic in Lingle, the Tigers will have one game before the winter break as they play the Walden Wildcats at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20 in Walden, Colo.


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