SUNNYSIDE — Coach Bruce Siebol and the rest of the boys basketball staff at Sunnyside High School expect to have a good dilemma on their hands this coming winter.
After what he deems a successful summer league season, featuring 78 Grizzly hopefuls, he’s impressed with the players intending to be a part of the program when November rolls around.
With so many signed up to play the past month, Siebol was able to field a varsity team and four JV teams. The varsity played in the Richland summer league, while the JV teams competed in the Amateur Athletic Union Three Rivers Summer League, two in the Mt. Saint Helens division, one in the Mt. Adams and one in the Mt. Rainier division.
The JV players occasionally joined the varsity “… to give them a good look,” Siebol said.
Wins and losses weren’t as important to him as the improvement many of them showed.
He said the coaches were happy with the overall performance of the players, although it can be noted the SHS JV No. 3 team won its division in the Mt. Saint Helens tour.
“The varsity played about 35 games in June and capped the season off in Seaside, Ore.,” Siebol said.
That tournament was June 24-27, and players competing on the team included Daniel Singleterry, Ethan Copeland, Isaiah Esquirdo, Darion Beeman, Sergio Navarro, Devin Escamilla, Logan Rodriguez, Brent Maldonado, Alex Lopez, Christian Irvin, J.J. Montelongo, Ricardo Salinas, Ryan Hunsaker, Preston Ervin, Dominick Gonzalez and the only senior, Gabe Oswalt.
“A lot of them are young… we have a really young group,” Siebol said of all the teams.
The summer season gave the coaches a chance to evaluate attitudes, attendance and how players will fit in the Grizzlies’ program.
Siebol said watching them play and improve was “a big thing… we could see how coachable the kids are.”
The skillset and work ethic displayed was excellent, he said.
“Tough decisions will need to be made come winter.”