Carson Wrightson (21) was a second-team, all-conference player for the Falcons last winter. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Carson Wrightson (21) was a second-team, all-conference player for the Falcons last winter. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Winter prep preview / Boys basketball

The first season for a new coach is tricky, according to first-year South Whidbey boys basketball coach Greg Turcott, but it helps when the squad is loaded with talent.

The Falcons return seven lettermen, including four starters, from last year’s 14-8 club. Several seniors played key roles as sophomores when South Whidbey won its first conference championship in 29 years in 2017-18.

The one player the Falcons did lose to graduation, Kody Newman, led the team in scoring and was the North Sound Conference’s Most Valuable Player.

Back, however, are seniors Carson Wrightson and captain Levi Buck, second-team, all-league selections last winter, and Dexter Jokinen, who earned honorable mention. Wrightson picked up the honor despite missing half the season with a back injury. Jokinen was tabbed as the Falcons’ Defensive Player of the Year.

Turcott called Wrightson his “most talented” player, one who should have a huge impact if he can stay healthy.

Buck is “a very good player who really knows how to play the game,” according to Turcott.

In addition to being a defensive standout, Jokinen is a “terrific outside shooter,” Turcott said.

The fourth returning starter is Nick Young, who Turcott labeled a “great leader and great point guard.”

Last year’s sixth man, junior Sterling Patton, is a “smart player,” Turcott said, and senior Kole Nelson is a “tough kid who has a really good motor.”

Rounding out the returning letter winners is sophomore Jacob Ng, who is a “basketball junkie” who loves the game,” according to Turcott.

Seniors Andrew Fry and Wyatt De Mers and juniors Cody Eager and Luke Rookstool should also contribute, Turcott said.

One of the keys for success, according to Turcott, is for the team and new coach to get to know each other.

“I am trying to help the guys feel comfortable in a new system,” he said.

“The kids really liked coach (Mike) Washington,” Turcott added. “They had fun playing for him, and I want to keep that. I might coach differently, but I want the kids to love the game and to have a good time playing it.”

In addition to the team’s experience, a strength for the Falcons will be their size.

“At the end of the day, height is a big advantage at this level,” Turcott said.

“We also have a good mix of basketball players and good athletes,” he added.

Turcott noted his team does many things well, but it can’t stay stagnate if it wants to continue to succeed.

“We need to keep improving at both ends of the floor,” he said. “If we do that and continue to do the little things, we are going to have a really good year.”

“A really good year,” Turcott said, is reaching the state tournament.

“If we play hard and together, we will win some games and play late into March,” he said. “Getting to the state tournament would be a great thing for this team.”

The Falcons begin the season with four consecutive home games, starting with Chimacum (2-15 last year) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4.

More in Sports

Photo by Jim Waller/Whidbey News-Times
This shot of an Oak Harbor youth league baseball scorebook shows Steve Lange had a monster day, slugging three home runs for the Angels on July 13, 1964.
History lesson: Past youth baseball comes to life in old scorebooks / Part 1

Please excuse me while I break one of the rules of journalism… Continue reading

COVID causes changes to college athletes’ careers

Oak Harbor High School graduate Elena Flake, a member of the University… Continue reading

WIAA changes guidelines for starting school sports

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association revised its guidelines for school sports this… Continue reading

Hodson replaces uncle as head coach at South Whidbey / Football

Mark and Luke Hodson share more than a last name. First there… Continue reading

Konni Smith sizes up her next shot. (Photo by John Fisken)
Green on Greens: Community displays generosity in memorial golf tournament

While COVID-19 has put brakes on much of society’s activities, it didn’t… Continue reading

Henry Booth pulls his boat out of the water after practice. (Photo by John Fisken)
One-time team member takes over as sailing coach

Shawn P. O’Connor was once the student, now he is the teacher.… Continue reading

Anna Anderson chips to the green in the Ladies’ Short and Sweet Par-3 Challenge Thursday, Sept. 10, at the Whidbey Golf Club. (Photo by John Fisken)
Rhodes, Franssen lead ladies’ par-3 golf tournament

The Short and Sweet Challenge usually takes place in March but was postponed because of COVID-19.

COVID-19 calling audibles: Oak Harbor football players adjusting to changes

“School isn’t going to be the same without football in the fall” said one high school senior.

DPSPS looking for volunteers for emergency response team

Volunteers for crew positions do not need to own a boat.

Most of the 2020 seniors are included in this photo taken for last spring’s South Whidbey High School sports program. Front row: junior Lara Napoli, junior Tayla Hymas, junior Lexi Wenzek, senior Chandra Wallace. Middle row: junior Sadie Wilson, senior McKenna Kelley, senior Ashley Ricketts, Joanie Welever, senior Alison Papritz. Back row: senior Ashley Ricketts, senior Chloe Loehr, senior Annika LeWarne, senior Oliana Stange, senior Jenna Pfeiffer, junior Laila Gmerek. (Photo by Jim Waller/Whidbey News-Times)
Tennis team aces relationships: Falcons lose final season together because of virus

Losing one last season with the Class of 2020 was tough for a South Whidbey High School tennis coach

Penn Cove Brewing Company hosts annual golf tournament

The tournament is Saturday, Sept. 19, at 1 p.m.

Calorie counter: Strength coach helps fuel athletes

Oak Harbor High School strength and conditioning coach Colby Heefner recognized a… Continue reading