Winter sports preview: Defense key focus for E-W boys basketball in 2011-12

E-W Coach Steve Call plays defense against Grant Pattison as team members watch. (Photo by Char Blankenship)

After three years as head basketball coach at Shoreline Christian, new Edmonds-Woodway High School head basketball coach Steve Call has been working hard to familiarize himself with a new league and his new players.

Call, who also served as a former assistant coach at Juanita High School in the Kingco league, was named in June to replace EWHS boys coach Todd Rubin, who resigned to take a job as assistant coach at Northwest University in Kirkland.

“I think the biggest obstacle for me will be my unfamiliarity with Wesco play,” Call said.

The Warriors, finished 5-9 in league (10-13 overall) last year and made it to the first round of the District playoffs. While they’ve lost seven senior to graduation, it’s their team goal to win the Wesco South, Call said. Among those expected to contribute are 6-1 senior guard Grant Pattison, 5-7 junior point guard Devin Joseph and two posts — 6-7 sophomore Travis Bakken and 6-8 junior Henry Olson.

During the off-season, Call spent time with the Edmonds-Woodway feeder teams. “I was able to get in on half of the summer season, for about 10 games,” he said.

“We had 68 boys try out for four feeder teams,” Call said. “It sure is an advantage to have great boys to work with.” The enthusiasm for the feeder program also bodes well for the future of basketball at Edmonds-Woodway, he said.  “One of the biggest things for a successful high school program is having guys that are committed to playing at younger ages,” he said.

And those 10 games gave Call the opportunity to instill his coaching philosophy into his players. The first-year coach expects he has made his point.

“I’m a defensively-minded coach; what I love to see is ball pressure,” he added. “These guys will know that in their sleep.”

Time will tell whether this year’s Warrior squad can meet Call’s expectations of tenacious defense. Call, however, wanted to make one thing very clear.

“We are going to be very competitive.”

The Warriors begin non-league play this Tuesday, Nov. 29 , with an away game at Lynnwood High School, followed by another away game vs. Hazen High School in Rento. Their home opener, Friday night vs. Sultan, will be broadcast live on Warrior Radio.

— Story by Ian Waldron, EWHS Class of 2006

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