There are just three significant players back from the Homestead team that went 22-6 and 8-1 in the SAC, but the loss of those seniors including a Mr. Basketball finalist changes things significantly. The Spartans will also break in a new gym come their annual pre-Thanksgiving game with Huntington North.
And the girls team has set a big stage in that new gym already.
Inside will be a place that Homestead can really flourish with the tandem of Grant Leeper (7.3 ppg/5.1 reg) and Tucker Day (2.4 ppg) back. Working in a high-low situation could see the pair really do some damage together. Even individually they are powerful and athletic, able to attack the rim from anywhere in or near the paint.
Kyron Kaopuiki is back to lead the team in the backcourt. His leadership will prove important in pace setting situations whether he takes on lead guard or off ball duties, which should fluctuate throughout the season. He is the team’s leading returner in scoring at 8.1 points per game and assists at 2.2 per contest.
Senior Jake Sermersheim joins the lineup in the backcourt too.
A trio of juniors will see more time in the Homestead lineup this season. They will all be expected to contribute right out of the gate and alleviate the pressures on Kaopuiki. Will Jamison is coming off a really good offseason that has seen his athleticism soar; he could be a big scoring threat and also one who could take over point guard duties.
Alex Graber could be an effective wing because he has the size and aggression to add to the interior and rebound but also can be a knock down shooter. John Parent is the third of those juniors and could also add some important shooting depth.
Because this is Homestead. And we could leave it at just that.
Chris Johnson is Chris Johnson. New gym, new players, new focus? It really doesn’t matter. Is Homestead the frontrunner in the SAC? Probably not as of the beginning of November. But this is Homestead and counting them out is just silly.
WHY NOT HIGHER?
There are new pieces that need to prove themselves and old pieces that have to step into more advanced roles. That is a lot of proving for Homestead to do and probably more proving of themselves that they have had to do in a long time.
With that too, it has been quite sometime since Homestead has not come into the season with a super high level scorer at the forefront of their lineup. There are more questions than tangible answers in the preseason.
January 13 at Snider
The Spartans have a lot of interesting games in 2022 but reality dictates that they don’t mean much. They either aren’t conference games or aren’t big challenges in conference.
Snider and Homestead have a deep history of intriguing or important games. The Spartans are going to get into the heart of their conference season after this and can’t afford to go into the biggest challenges taking a L here.
This game, especially given the fact that both teams will be in midseason form, is the first real important game.
Will Jamison, Junior
Jamison had a really good summer and could be a go to player when Homestead is looking for a new prime scorer. Jamison is a quality shooter, is good at getting to the rim and creating.
His energy is important too and making sure that the Spartans can keep pace with him.
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