All Onboard

BY GEORGE HOWE, Amboy News Reporter


AMBOY — According to Head Coach Brad Dunlap, the Amboy Boy’s Basketball program has been slowing sinking the last few seasons and his objective going into the 2021-22 campaign is to right the ‘Clipper’ ship.  

Dunlap and his staff started the transformation back in early November, instilling a new culture of discipline, hard work, and accountability. There hasn’t been a quiet moment at Clipper practices, and the sounds of squeaky shoes fills the gym from a regular dose of offensive, defensive and running drills.  

“I expect the team to play hard all of the time,” said Dunlap. “We aren’t going to make excuses for why we aren’t doing well. We like to say that we are the Clippers and we foresee everyone getting onboard.” 

Change doesn’t always come easy. Often times there are growing pains as the players who have been in the program for awhile adjust to a new approach. Tucker Lindenmeyer, a 5’9 junior guard and a returning starter clearly sees the attitude adjustment on the floor and in the locker room so far. 

“Everything is more structured and organized and we have all bought into the coach’s expectations,” said Lindenmeyer. “Communication has been the key, and we have a better bond as a result.” 

Lindenmeyer prides himself on tough in your face defense and will have a supporting cast of 5’9 senior guard Connor Simpson, 5’10 senior guard Ian Eller, 5’10 junior guard Hayden Wittenauer, 5’11 senior forward Hayden McCoy, who Dunlap is counting on to do the dirty work under the basket, along with 6’1 sophomore Brennan Blake and 6’0 senior forward Garett Ringenberg to help score inside and pull down rebounds. During all of the new challenges Dunlap’s philosophy and expectations hasn’t wavered and he explained that the team won’t lose a game for lack of determination. 

“Every practice, our motto and words that we stress are; effort, energy, communication, and discipline,” he said. “I like this group of guys and the attitude from what we are trying to instill. I expect better things ahead.”

Proof of the direction that the team and program are heading was never more evident than the recent results from the AFC Thanksgiving Tournament. Although they finished runner up to Midland, the Clipper’s won their first three contests over LaMoille, Polo, and Hiawatha outscoring their opponents 147-90, and matching their total wins from last year’s Covid shortened season. 

“It’s a good start for us and something to build on,” said Assistant Coach Joe Heavner. “The player’s showed us that what we are building towards was communicated from their efforts in these opening games.”