HARVARD — Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
After coaching the Bromfield girls basketball team for three decades, Tom Hill has become coach of the boys basketball team. He inherits a tough act to follow as the Trojans won a Central Mass. Division 3 championship last season.
Graduation losses were severe as Josh Lyvers, Ben Brown, Brian Morgan, Connor Kempton and Jon Fricchione won’t return, but Hill is working on blending three senior captains with a number of promising underclassmen.
“I really have enjoyed the switch and I feel rejuvenated,” said Hill. “I have been cautiously impressed so far.”
The Trojans figure to be strong in the backcourt where senior captains Hugo Al-Homsi and Sam Peisch will start. Both are capable of playing either point or shooting guard.
“Hugo is the only returning starter,” said Hill. “He has the ability to create his own offense and he can either hit the outside shot or drive to the basket. He is quick and experienced and is hard to stop. He passes well and understands the game.
“Sam is an athlete with good speed and quickness,” said Hill. “He is a good shooter with range, he plays strong defense and provides leadership. He will have a much bigger role this season.”
Adding depth in the backcourt will be junior Ross Jacobson and freshman Brian McCullough.
“Ross didn’t play last season,” said Hill. “He has worked hard and he is a smart player who handles the ball well and has a good shot. Brian is a good athlete with speed and quickness. He handles the ball well and is working on his outside shot.”
The starters in the frontcourt will be senior captain Caleb Frost at center, junior Dan Ockene at power forward, and junior Jake Lurvey at small forward.
“Caleb got quality minutes off the bench last season,” said Hill. “He is a strong defender and rebounder and he could be tough to handle inside offensively. Dan came off the bench last season and is a strong player with good size. He has a nice medium-range shot. Jake is up from the junior varsity team and gives us good size at small forward. He has a nice shot and solid inside moves and handles the ball well.”
Freshman Ray Dunn has been impressive and is making a strong push up front.
“Ray has been very impressive and has a big upside,” said Hill. “He takes the ball to the basket strongly and hustles all over the court defensively. He is developing an outside shot.”
Providing depth up front and working on creating roles will be senior Kieran Stoddart, juniors Tyler Shepherd and Mike Childs, and sophomore Jeff Yates.
“Kieran didn’t play last season and he can play either forward slot,” said Hill. “He plays good defense and has good inside moves.Tyler and Mike are up from the junior varsity team. Tyler is athletic and worked hard over the summer. He has good touch around the basket. Mike works hard on his game and he is a tough defender with good size. Jeff is dedicated to basketball. He is a good shooter and he has the versatility to play off guard.”
What are the strengths of the team this season?
“We have good size, we have a lot of kids who are dedicated to the sport, and I think we will be a good shooting team,” said Hill. “We need to develop a willingness to play inside. We are looking for an inside presence that would take the pressure off our outside game.
“Our goal is to have a shot at a league title and to make the Districts and be competitive there,” said Hill.