Jaguars looking for jump with new leadership
By Murray Gleffe
ASHWAUBENON – The Ashwaubenon boys’ basketball team is coming off a difficult 7-17 season in 2018-19.
The Jaguars lost 14 games by double digits, lost their head coach and playmaker Chris Morgan transferred to Kaukauna.
Enter Mark Tomashek, who is not your typical first-year coach in the Fox River Classic Conference.
“I don’t feel I am an entry-level coach,” said Tomashek. “I have been coaching basketball for the last 23 years. I coached junior varsity for three years, varsity for nine at Denmark and at the youth level the past 11 years in Ashwaubenon. I have run an entire program, so this is an easy transition. By being organized and surrounding yourself with great coaches and people and having the want, desire and motivation to do the job, it makes it easier.”
Ashwaubenon gave conference champ Green Bay Southwest its first loss of the season a year ago after the Trojans started 13-0.
The Jaguars return three starters and a valuable bench player from last year’s squad.
Kyle Krueger returns to the frontcourt after averaging 14.8 points and eight rebounds per game as a sophomore.
Matt Imig (No. 2 guard) and Brady Wittig (small forward) return after combining for more than 14 points and five rebounds a contest.
Marcus Tomashek (coach’s son) was the sixth man on last year’s team.
Tomashek put on strength, added two inches to his 6-foot-3 frame and put up good numbers in the summer traveling league.
As a freshman, Tomashek scored 83 points on 19 made three-pointers.
“Kyle, Brady, Matt and Marcus all have their strengths as players,” Mark Tomashek said. “They have good chemistry on the court. They all want each other to be successful. It’s our job as coaches to maximize their strengths. I consider coaching all the players on the team as an honor and a privilege. I am excited to be a part of their journey and help them develop as players, a team and as men.”
Others to watch include Eli Zollar, Connor Hucek, Cadian Vang and Atticus Johnson.
Coach Tomashek has multiple goals for his squad.
“We want to work every day in the right direction, continue to build and improve, work for each other, put the hard work in and compete in each drill and each play,” he said. “My motto is ‘Cast the Line.’”
Many high school basketball players are choosing AAU traveling teams in the summer – it has taken on a 365-day-a-year roll.
Despite limited scholarships for Division I teams, student-athletes are giving themselves every opportunity to garner a scholarship by playing with the best.
“There are a lot of great basketball players in the state of Wisconsin,” Tomashek said. “The AAU scene in the past 10 years has exploded in the Midwest, which has helped create much better players in this state. To continue to improve in the game of basketball, you have to put the time in – there are no shortcuts. The game is continually changing and adapting.”
Ashwaubenon boys’ basketball schedule
11/26 – Seymour
12/3 – West De Pere
12/10 – Green Bay Southwest
12/17 – Notre Dame Academy
12/20 – @ Bay Port
12/21 – @ Oshkosh West Invitational – 3 p.m.
1/3 – @ Green Bay East
1/6 – Sheboygan North
1/7 – @ Manitowoc Lincoln
1/10 – Green Bay Preble
1/14 – Sheboygan South
1/17 – @ De Pere
1/24 – Pulaski
1/28 – @ Southwest
1/31 – Bay Port
2/4 – @ Notre Dame
2/7 – Manitowoc
2/11 – @ Preble
2/14 – @ Sheboygan South
2/18 – De Pere
2/21 – @ Sheboygan North
2/27 – @ Pulaski
Editor’s note: All games begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.