Although the high school basketball season is five months away, new head Coach Dan McKendrick and his Warriors are becoming quite acquainted this summer.
It has been a great experience for all of us,” McKendrick said. “I am really enjoying the kids and learning more about them.”
McKendrick replaced J.J. Pearl, last month. He is looking to have his team improve from their 14-21 mark last year.
“It is everything I have anticipated,” McKendrick said. “There is a lot of administrative stuff. Getting on the court is the easy part. The things that are away from the court I am in the learning curve on now.
“It is something you can never prepare for. It is something you learn when you are in the head coach’s chair.”
In the short time as head coach, McKendrick has liked what he has seen in his team. The group is currently 10-10 this summer, playing in the tough Stevenson League on Wednesday nights along with weekend shootouts.
“There is a lot of talent here,” McKendrick said. “The boys know they are going to have to compete for the spots. We have been a little inconsistent so far. But we are looking to change that.”
The players also have liked what they have seen in their new head coach.
“Practice has been awesome,” Alexander Glantz said. He played point guard last year and is moving to forward this season. “Things are progressing well for us. We have some wins and everyone is excited here.”
Jack Dimatteo, who will also be a senior this year, says Deerfield should be able to regain some of those glories from seasons past.
“We had a lot of respect playing for Coach (J. J.)Pearl,” Dimatteo said. “But I love playing for Coach McKendrick. I think we are definitely getting back to where we were at and hopefully taking it to new heights. We have played some good competition so far and we have had good results to go with that.
Tony Shapiro, who came off the bench last season in a number of games, said the Warriors will be looking to run the ball up and down the court more this year.
“We like to run a lot,” Shapiro said. “From this year to last year, we decided we are going to run more. We are pretty athletic. We are going to get up in people and make them feel uncomfortable.”
Patrick Burns, who played for McKendrick last year the Warrior mentor was the sophomore coach, knew what to expect this season. “Everyone has had him, so the transition has been easy,” Burns said. “Everyone likes him. We are setting into our roles here now.”