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Lighthouse Christian High School

School Info
Conference: 1AD2 Sawtooth Conference
Classification: 1A D2

Head Coach: Darren Van Hofwegen

Years as Head Coach: 1

Previous Experience: 9

Record Last Year: 18-8

State Titles: No titles, No state berths

Assistant Coaches:
Cory Holloway, Harriman Randle

Who do you have coming back this year?
Erick Helman, Forward, Senior, 6’0; Jake Millenkamp, Guard, Senior, 5’6; Luc Fadness, Guard, Senior, 5’6; Logan Bosma, Guard, Senior, 5’8.

Any Returning Players with Honors?
Erick Helman 2nd Team All Conference, Luc Fadness All Conference Honorable Mention; Jake Millenkamp All Conference Honorable Mention

Any “Key Players” that you lost from last year?
Eli Berndt, Guard, 4 year varsity player; Garrett Lee and Donnie Aardema, Post presence and ability to rebound. Ridge Reid was also a large contributor last year.

Do you have any new incoming “impact” players?
We have a lot of talented sophomores who are going to try and get their name in the hat for varsity experience. Ty Giardina, Josh Fadness, and Bryce Kostelecky will all look to be those sophomores who earn varsity time. Spencer Stephens and Adam Taylor will look to fill a very large hole that Donnie and Garrett left in the post. Spencer has the size and strength to be a dominant post presence. Adam, along with Spencer, brings toughness and strength to the post game. These 2 guys will be called upon to fill the role of rebounding.
As a team, what are your offensive strengths?
Erick Helman will bring a wealth of attributes. He has great size to get to the rim, but also can shoot the ball well from the outside. He will be a 4 year varsity player so experience is huge.

Offensive areas you hope to improve on over last year:
I really hope to bring a system of fast paced basketball to Lighthouse Christian. I feel we have a lot of weapons on the offensive end, but getting kids to buy into a new system and a new coach will be job number 1.

As a team, what are your defensive strengths?
Logan Bosma, Jake Millenkamp, and Tyler Andreasen are all defensive minded players. My general focus is going to be tough man to man pressure defense. I know that will take some time to get kids to buy into a new system of defense.

Defensive Areas you hope to improve on over last year:
Overall TEAM man to man pressure defense.

Does your team have a motto/theme for the upcoming season?
“Stand Firm” Luke 21:19. We have the motto that follows this Bible verse, “Stand firm and you will win life.”

What are you most excited about in regards to this year’s team?
I am very excited to get back into coaching boys. The past 3 years I have been coaching girls in Hagerman and we had a very successful run. The past 2 years, those girls averaged 18 wins per year and a state berth. They bought into a defensive system of play that includes pressure man to man and up tempo offense. They were an amazing group to coach and I look forward to seeing that system play out here at Lighthouse. Lighthouse Christian has been extremely successful on the football field. For basketball, we are still looking forward to the day when we earn our first state berth. We anxiously await to see if this is our time.

For the fans, what is the must-see game of the year on your schedule?
I feel it is important to note that every game is important. I really preach to kids that the most important game on our schedule is the next one we play. With that said, we only get 1 crack at conference foes Dietrich (January 18 home) and Carey (February 4 AWAY). I look forward to those games, along with every conference battle with Castleford, Richfield, and others.

What is the ‘X-Factor’ to having success this season as a team?
Buy In. Period. There are 5 seniors on this team that have to buy in to what we are doing defensively or else we cannot, will not, achieve the goals that we have.

If you could change one rule in high school basketball, what would it be?
Wow you opened that up. I know I will differ from many coaches in our conference, but I feel that we need to have a shot clock. I know everyone’s complaint with it. I feel that adding that to the game would make it more exciting, especially in the 4th quarter, when teams choose to stall. Ponder this thought; what is defense? Is defense only man to man or is there zone too? A shot clock would encourage teams to switch it up now and them between zone and man. With no shot clock, that encourages only one type of defense late in games. How good would Jim Boeheim be if there was not shot clock in college?

Besides the pay, the fame and the glory, why do you coach high school basketball?
Working with teenage kids and helping them to shape their lives is one of the main reasons. I think we can all attest that we had coaches that we loved and respected. I hope that I am that coach to the majority of my players.

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