Boonville Lady Pirates basketball coach Jaryt Hunziker already knows what to expect for the first week of practice as teams across the state officially kicked off the 2019-20 season on Monday.
As for Boonville boys basketball coach Mark Anderson and wrestling coach Justin Hahn, they will have to wait for the season to come to an end in football and soccer.
Hunziker said 27 girls in grades 9-12 took part in the first practice of the season Monday in the Windsor gymnasium.
The Lady Pirates return three starters back from last year’s team, which finished 21-4 overall.
As for the focus this week, Hunziker said the main focus is to get the girl’s legs underneath them.
“With the system that we play I always tell the team that everything looks better once we are in better shape,” Hunziker said. “We improve this by keeping practices as uptempo as much as we can going segment to segment with short breaks in between.
“Throughout the afternoon we emphasized our transition game and getting up the floor quickly. Our defense was introduced by breaking it down into position drills that let the team understand what we are looking to do. We then put it all together just so we could see how the whole picture will look like. The team also spent some time on skill development that focused on some of the fundamentals needed to perform.”
Hunziker said he was very pleased with the effort and intensity and how well the girls played together by sharing the ball in certain offensive drills. He said he wasn’t disappointed whatsoever and felt the girls did better than what he expected.
As for the rest of the week, Hunziker said the team will continue to work on the things they did on Day 1 but also dig deeper into their offensive and defensive systems.
“We have to little by little master some of the concepts learned throughout the first few days and gradually build on those before our first game,” Hunziker said. “Going into Week 2 we want to make practices even more competitive and intense building on our philosophy that practices are tougher than games.”
Hunziker said Boonville will be hosting Moberly and Centralia for a jamboree on Monday, Nov. 18 starting at 5 p.m. He said the jamboree will include both the boys and girls teams. Boonville will also be holding a intra squad scrimmage at the Windsor gymnasium on Tuesday, Nov. 26.
As for the Boonville boys basketball team, coach Anderson said he currently has 12-13 boys out for practice.
“The major of our players are still involved in either football or soccer,” Anderson said. “When those sports are finished, we’ll give those athletes a few days of rest before we ask them to report to our practice, so we won’t know our total number for a while. Based on our preseason meeting, we are expecting to have about 30-35 players tryout for the team, and we’re expecting to have varsity, JV and freshmen teams.”
Returning 2-3 starters back from last year’s team, which finished 14-12 overall and 4-3 in the Tri-County Conference, Anderson said right now with a limited squad the coaching staff is trying to install the expectations of playing hard, defending and communication.
“I think we’ve take some big steps in that direction in our first couple of practices,” Anderson said. “Obviously we are somewhat limited in what we can do and what we can accomplish. In many ways, our practices the first week or two will be more in the nature of individual and small group work -- lots of conditioning, shooting, individual skill work, individual defense drills, or 2-on-2 or 3-on-3 breakdown drills.  We won't be able to put most our team concepts in until we get all of our guys.  While we're eager to get our full team together, we're also excited and happy for the success that they're having in other sports, and I believe that success in one sport causes or contributes to cause success in other sports.”
The Boonville Pirates wrestling team will also be limited for the first week of practice.
Assistant coach Kyle Newham said six girls and five boys made up the first day of practice on Monday.
“We are working on basic fundamentals and moves such as single leg and half on top,” Newham said. “The first week is to show moves from feet, top bottom and do different drills that reinforce the positions and moves they show during the week. For all the girls, this was their first time doing anything with wrestling on the mat. I was able to come and see the end of practice after football film and was very impressed with the energy level of everyone in the room.”
Newham said he is hoping after both football and soccer end that the numbers will be closer to 25 wrestlers.
The Pirates will return eight varsity wrestlers from last year’s team.
Note: The Boonville boys and girls basketball teams will open the 2019-20 season in the Tri-County Conference Tournament on Dec. 2-7, while the Boonville wrestling team will host a triangular with Fatima and Higginsville on Dec. 3 at the Windsor gymnasium starting at 5 p.m.