METUCHEN, NJ - Thanks to newly hired head coach, Mike Thompson, Saint Joseph High School has been able to have much success this season despite having a roster full of players that are new to the varsity basketball scene.
“I had to get used to coaching with a new staff and new players, just like the team had to get used to the new coaches,” Thompson said. “Everyone bought in quickly.”
The team is currently 14-3 and ranked first in the Greater Middlesex Conference.
The team adjusted rapidly as they knocked off GMC rival East Brunswick on the road in their season opener. After that, the team lost to the GMC preseason favorite before going on a six-game win streak, lead by sophomore guard Tyree Ford.
“Tyree is the only guy we have who had played any substantial time on varsity [before this year],” said Thompson, who graduated from Saint Joseph High School in 1982.
Thompson says that the team’s playing style is a positionless basketball concept that allows each individual player to play with their own skill-sets all while making up for their weaknesses. This has worked to the benefit of the many new players finding their roles, such as sophomore guard K-Shawn Shulters.
Thompson was a two year captain for the Falcons during his playing days before going on to successfully coach as an assistant under legendary coach Bob Hurley. He hopes to bring some of the same success he has been apart of over his career to his new team.
Christian Vasquez is a Saint Joseph High School student.