BRANDON, S.D. (KELO)- The Brandon Valley girl’s basketball team claimed the class ‘AA’ state title last year with a 60-40 win over Sioux Falls Lincoln. With a new season starting, the Lynx will welcome a new coach, as former assistant coach Mike Zerr takes over as head coach.
“I worked with coach Deckert for two years before coming over to the girl’s program and then working with coach (Mark) Stadem for the last five years. I’m really thankful for the leadership that they’ve given me, the example that they’ve provided me and hopefully I can take the best of both of those worlds and apply it to our girls and see them grow and excel,” Mike Zerr said.
With a new coach, comes a lot of new faces for the Lynx. After graduating eight seniors, the Lynx return only one starter and two seniors.
“I think we have a group of girls that are ready to take the reigns from those girls that left and continue to grow this thing into something special and hopefully we both, my leadership and my assistants, we can make a difference in our program and the way that we want to do it here at Brandon Valley,” Zerr said.
Despite having a new coach and different players, the fans won’t see much change when it comes to Brandon Valley basketball.
“I don’t think it will change all that much. You’re still going to see a team that’s really physical. It’s a team that wants to get up and down and play an up tempo style of basketball. We want to play off the pass and share the basketball and be a balanced offensive team,” Zerr said.
Practice began on Monday and Brandon Valley couldn’t be more excited to get back on the court.
“It’s definitely an exciting group of girls. They’re thrilled to have the opportunities that they have in front of them. They’re taking over some of those roles that they left behind and myself and my staff are thrilled to get started with the girls that we have,” Zerr said.
Just like the girl’s team, the Brandon Valley boy’s basketball team claimed the state ‘AA’ title with a narrow 54-47 win over Sioux Falls O’Gorman.
“We’ve tried to win it every year; I mean, this isn’t a one-time deal obviously. I feel very special about what we were able to accomplish last year, but still, we lost eight seniors and we lost eight very mature guys, though not all eight of them played every game, but they were eight guys that were really together as a unit and that made it very, very special whether we made it to the state championship or not,” Boys head coach Brent Deckert.
While the Lynx claimed its first state title since 1998, Brandon Valley is ready to start a new season and begin a journey for another state title.
“There’s always something special about the beginning of the year. I think that anytime that you get to start over again with a new year, it ends up being a whole special situation all over again and just kind of seeing what kind of guys you’ve got and what you can make out of your team,” Deckert said.
Brandon Valley isn’t resting on their laurels as they are taking everything one step at a time, to prepare for their first game.
“All we are trying to do right now is get as ready as we possibly can and put the best possible team out there to get ready to beat Rapid City Stevens and that’s our next opponent so that’s what we’re thinking of right now,” Deckert said.
Brandon Valley will host Rapid City Stevens in a double header on Friday, December 13. The girls tip-off is set for 6:00 with the boys game to follow.