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RANGELY I Panther boys’ basketball coach Eric Hejl has been waiting for this season to start since his team lost its last game in March. Now the wait is over and preparations and practice have started.
“I’ve been waiting for this season,” Hejl said outside the weight room where he and his team have been spending time during the off season.
Hejl is excited to have returning varsity starting seniors, Cameron Enterline, Andrew Morton and Connor Phelan leading the team this season.
“They are my captains, they were freshmen the first year I was a head coach and I think we are in a good spot from a leadership point of view,” Hejl said.
The Panthers graduated three seniors. Two of them were starters but Hejl is excited about juniors Mitchell Webber and Layne Mecham helping out on the inside.
“We’ll have to adjust our system offensively, playing more of an inside oriented offense and defensively, I believe we will match up well with other teams,” Hejl said.
Hejl’s brother Chris and Cody Brunton will assist with the coaching duties again this season, which will officially open in the annual White River Electric Cowboy Shootout in December.
The Panthers will scrimmage in Grand Junction on Nov. 30.
“The sky is the limit and it will be determined in the weight room and in practice,” Hejl said. “If we work hard and push each other, we can be as good as any and not just any other team.”