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The Voice of the Tyrone Area High School

Tyrone Eagle Eye News

The Voice of the Tyrone Area High School

Tyrone Eagle Eye News

Rhoades Takes a Detour: Tyrone Hoops Coach Changing Gyms

After a successful run with the Tyrone girls, Rhoades is now the boys head coach
Head+Coach+Luke+Rhoades+%28right%29+and+assistant+coach+Steve+Ramsey+%28left%29+moved+from+the+girls+squad+to+the+boys+this+summer.+
Todd Cammarata
Head Coach Luke Rhoades (right) and assistant coach Steve Ramsey (left) moved from the girls squad to the boys this summer.

When Tyrone boys basketball coach George Gripp retired after 17 years at the helm there was a lot of speculation about who would replace him. The boys team has historically been competitive and there was a lot of interest in who would get the job from coaches and fans around the region.

When the Tyrone Area School Board decided who would be best to lead the Golden Eagles, they didn’t have to look far.

I thought it would be a good change for me. I coached the girls for 17 years and had a good run with them, and I got to the point where I could take my experience from the girls to the boys

— Head Coach Luke Rhoades

Tyrone Athletic Director and former varsity girls basketball head coach Luke Rhoades will change gyms this winter, making the move from the girls home in the middle school to the boys home court at the high school.

“I thought it would be a good change for me,” Rhoades said, “I coached the girls for 17 years and had a good run with them, and I got to the point where I could take my experience from the girls to the boys.”

The reaction from the players has been positive.

“I think they made a smart decision in hiring Coach Rhoades who has experience in Tyrone basketball and is a familiar face,” junior Drew Escala said.

Rhoades is a Tyrone native and began his coaching career with the Tyrone boys squad.

“I played here in high school, and then I started coaching the boys as an assistant in 2001 for 4 or 5 years. Then I took the girls job when it became open, and now I’m back to the boys,” Rhoades said.

Rhoades has high expectations for his first year as boys head coach, which is also Tyrone’s first year in the newly expanded Laurel Highlands Conference.

“I’m looking forward to seeing these guys expand on their skills and get them to the next step to make the State Tournament and bring home a District Championship,” Rhoades said.

So far he’s been impressed by his team.

“I really think the commitment and the time they want to put in the gym is outstanding,” Rhoades said. “I thought we had a really good summer, and the offseason so far is going well. They work hard and love to put in time, and we have to continue that and continue our mindset.”

Rhoades has been leading optional practices and offseason training since the summer.

“I thought the kids worked really hard [this summer] and understood the system of how we want to play in a short amount of practice and time. One thing we have got to work on is our defense, and that’s going to be one of our big focuses for the season,” Rhoades said.

I think they made a smart decision in hiring Coach Rhoades who has experience in Tyrone basketball and is a familiar face

— Junior Drew Escala

Returning letterwinners for this season are Sam Crilly, Ashton Walk, Drew Escala. Kendall Lehner, and Dravyn Crowell. Key losses from last year’s team are Zac LeGars and Ross Gampe.

Rhoades is also bringing a familiar face with him from the girls coaching staff, assistant coach Steve Ramsey will be the new assistant boys varsity coach..

Ramsey also has a lot of experience in Tyrone basketball and will be a great addition to the team this year.

Rhoades says the biggest adjustment he will have to make is the speed of play in the boys game, which is much faster and freer than the girls.

“I believe the girls run the plays better and execute the offense better,” Rhoades said, “but the boys are more free-willed, so I have to adjust to that and add plays to work on that.”

The returning players are looking forward to the season as well.

“I think with Rhoades taking over as head coach it gives the team a lot more responsibility. The season has yet to start and one of his main focuses is to bring us together as a team and be more positive. This season will be a lot different as far as our team chemistry and respect for each other not only as a teammate but as a person,” junior Damon Brueggert said.

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About the Contributor
Andrew Escala, Staff Writer
Drew Escala is a Junior at Tyrone Area High School. This is his second year in Eagle Eye. Drew likes to play basketball and to make clothes. His plan after high school is to attend college to further his education and sports career. Drew's favorite musicians include Young Thug, Ot7 Quanny, Travis Scott, and Lancey Foux. Drew is a starter on the varsity basketball team. He is also a young entrepreneur. He started his own clothing brand over the summer and plans to take it far. He wants to write about the basketball team this year.

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