Preston takes over as head varsity coach for boys basketball team

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Faye Smith

Varsity head coach Andy Preston coaches his team members before the beginning of practice. The team kicks off their season on Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at home against Dodge City.

As the 2018-19 boys basketball season commences, there have been changes to the coaching staff that mimic years prior. This season math teacher Andy Preston returns as head coach, after he left the program in 2016 to take an assistant coaching position at Mill Valley High School in Kansas City, Kansas.

After finding a job opening back at Newton High School, Preston wanted to come closer to home so when an opening for varsity head coach came up, he took it.

“I was wanting a to get back into coaching basketball and I’m blessed and very grateful to have this opportunity,” Preston said.

With this coaching change, comes different ways to hold practice and conditioning. According to senior Damarius Peterson, even though practices are intense, they bring out the best of the team.

“Our practices are way more intense. I mean, we actually get to just go out and practice like brothers, compete and get better,” Peterson said. “We have a lot of young guys coming up and stuff, but they’re a huge role for us. Especially the young guys that have never played varsity.”

In addition to a change-up with practices, Preston believes that this year the team will continue to build energy going into the season.

“We are going to play harder then our opponents, and we are going to play with more energy. I really think, as a whole, we can be a more unselfish team, but this year we’re working more as a team, and having more energy. We are very fortunate to have very good offensive talent from prior years,” Preston said.

Peterson as well as senior Isaiah Presley were coached under Preston during the 2015-16 season as freshmen. According to Peterson this has affected the way he has played throughout his career.

“Trust me, he if it wasn’t for Coach Preston, I wouldn’t be here today. He made me up and I’m glad that he’s back. It’s so fun having him around and I’m glad he’s the head coach again,” Peterson said.

Presley believes that Preston’s coaching abilities of being strict will have a positive impact on the team’s overall performance throughout the year.

“I think one he is the best coach I’ve had my entire life. He is strict, he gets right to the chase and like he gets you where you need to go and on top of that he’s just amazing as a coach and, with him, I believe we can go really far” Presley said.

The boys basketball team will tip-off against Dodge City at home for their season opener on Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m.