Canyon Ridge High School
Conference: Great Basin (West) Conference
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Head Coach: Darren Van Hofwegen
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season
Record Last Year: 2-21
Ryan Packham, G, 12
Izak Cuellar, P, 11
Derek Clark, G, 11
Austin Dey, P, 12
Sadmir Alic, F, 12
Incoming impact players:
Hudson Pierce, G, 10
Written by: Sven Alskog
It's a new era in Canyon Ridge boys basketball, as former Lighthouse Christian coach Darren Van Hofwegen takes over on the sideline this season.
He'll be tasked with turning around a program that went 2-21 last year with no wins against 4A competition.
As is the case in most situations where a team has taken lumps, the Riverhawks were able to gain valuable experience during that rough campaign which should serve them well moving forward.
With guards Ryan Packham and Derek Clark, Van Hofwegen has a good outside combo to go with interior options Izak Cuellar, Austin Dey and Sadmir Alic.
"We don’t have that single 'go-to player' that we will rely on night in and night out. We have a nice balance of players who are capable of contributing in more ways than just scoring," said Van Hofwegen.
He hopes plenty of those contributions come on the other side of the floor.
"We have a very athletic group of players who can contribute on the defensive end as well. We are hoping Sadmir will disrupt some defenses with his length and athleticism. Ryan and Derek are very good on ball defenders."
He added that other players will be called upon to share the on the ball defensive assignments as well.
Newcomer Hudson Pierce could see some playing time from the guard line as a sophomore also.
Whenever a coaching change is made the first few months are of the utmost importance for setting the tone for the future. Van Hofwegen is excited for what that future could hold for the Riverhawks.
"I am excited to work with these guys because ever since I got hired in the spring, they have been nothing but respectful and eager to learn. Anytime you have a new coach there is always a transition period, but with this group it has been seamless. They have welcomed the new staff and I am excited to see where we can go."
It'll be a tough road in one of the stronger 4A conferences annually, however Canyon Ridge does have potential to leapfrog a team or two in the standings this time around.