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Greenleaf Friends Academy

School Info
Conference: 1AD1 Western Idaho Conference
Classification: 1A D1

Head Coach: Joe Carson

Years as Head Coach: 1st season

Record Last Year: 4-16

Team Preview:

Written by: Vince Trimboli

Coming of a four win season, first year Greenleaf coach Joe Carson has a simple goal for his Grizzlies.

“Improvement,” was his quick answer.

“We’ve got players of all different levels. I’m just expecting improvement as individuals and as a team. A winning season doesn’t necessarily define improvement, it’s about how hard they work as individuals and as a team at getting better,” Carson said.

The Grizzlies will have about a dozen players in the program with the hope of fielding a varsity and junior varsity squad. Carson is encouraged that attendance is starting to increase at the 104 year old private Christian school.

The grizzlies have several players returning with varsity experience. But the coach said they will also add several players onto the team with very little varsity experience.

Carson describes senior wing Zephy Stevens as “clutch” three point shooter that doesn’t get rattled. Stevens will be joined by junior point guard Justin Kelly a good ball handler that gets to the rim. “He’s what you expect out of a point guard,” Carson said.

Senior Jakob Behrens, the quarterback on the football team, is described as a well-rounded guard/wing that can play every position on the floor. Carson is also expecting contributions from his sons, senior Trace and sophomore Ezra. The elder Carson is a track athlete that will bring speed and the younger cards is a good ball handler.

“I’ve always been involved as a coach on their teams. It’s not a new experience for us. It’s always worked as far as synergy for us, so I see it as a positive,” Carson said when asked about coaching his own boys.

Carson said on the floor Greenleaf will lack post presence. The will be a run and gun offense with some “tweaks.” He’s going to an up tempo style to capitalize on their strength at guard. “We have a lot of fast, quick and athletic athletes and not a lot of height. So we’ll try and take advantage of our strengths.”

Greenleaf doesn’t return a lot of experience and will play in a tough conference that features the likes of Liberty Charter and Ambrose. Right now Carson is focused execution versus wins and losses.

“I just want them to improve in practice and then we can build on that. We’ll work on the fundamentals. I have to make sure the simple things are easy for them,” he said. “Every school goes through seasons of building and that’s where we are at right now.”

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