HERRIN
BY JACK BULLOCK
The Herrin Tigers finally found themselves a young head coach who has a very fine basketball pedigree to put in charge of their program.

Sayler Shurtz, a Benton native and son of former Benton mentor Rod Shurtz, takes over a program that is deep in tradition and also talent.

The Tigers managed a 15-15 mark last season but in 3A they didn't last long in the postseason, losing to Murphysboro at the 3A Centralia Regional.

The young Shurtz has coaching experience in the Elverado school district but has some talented athletes to work with as he takes on his first high school boy's basketball coaching position.

Although three starters are missing from last season, there are kids back that have a lot of skill and experience.

Coach Shurtz pointed out senior guard Bronson Nessler, a 6-foot-1 guard, who is a sharpshooter from the outside.

He nailed nine 3-pointers in a game last season so defenses better know where he is at on the floor.

Five-foot-eleven senior Trenton Stucker and 6-foot senior Cameron Vaughn return and Coach Shurtz hopes that their experience last season is going to help out in the early going.

Six-foot-one junior Drew Ringel, 6-foot junior Tate Johnson, 6-foot-2 junior Hayden Holloway and Jackson Yates, a 5-foot-10 junior will be an important to the Herrin success according to Coach Shurtz.

Holloway is another long range shooter while Yates is one of the top defenders on the club.

Six-foot-four sophomore Luke LeQuatte is one to watch.

He has guard skills, that Shurtz hopes will continue to improve.

Brandon Anthony is 5-foot-10 sophomore that Shurtz says will see varsity minutes.

“We expect to challenge people defensively and it's important that we are able to go 8-9 deep,” said Coach Shurtz. “This years team has a chance to surprise some people. We overall are fairly young and a bit undersized in the post but full of athleticism and talent. I think guard wise we can compete with anyone around. Being the 3rd coach in 3 years, I believe it's important for these guys to buy into the program and to have some consistency.”

OUTLOOK – There is a deep well of talent at Herrin, and there always has been. Having gone through coaching changes recently hasn't helped the program. This hire by the district should pay dividends immediately. Good, young coaches are not as plentyful as one would think. This coach has the background that is valuable. It may take some time but a winner can be built here. It looks like this coach is the one for the job.

2017-18 VARSITY SCHEDULE
N20-25 Pyramid Plus Tournament @ Marion J26 Benton

D5

Cairo J27 Mt. Vernon
D8 @ Benton F2 @ Murphysboro
D15 Murphysboro F3 Benton "Rich Herrin Classic"
D16 Pinckneyville F9 Metropolis Massac County
D26-28 Eldorado Holiday Tournament F10 @ West Frankfort
J5 West Frankfort F16 @ Harrisburg
J12 Harrisburg F20 @ Metropolis Massac County
J13 @ Woodlawn F23 @ Carterville
J15-20 West Frankfort "Mid-Winter Classic" F26-M2 IHSA Regional TBD