ARLINGTON -- Heading into his second season as the head boys basketball coach at Arlington High School, Tyler Spitser said the best way for his team to improve upon last year's 2-20 record is to simply focus on making steady progress.
"Our focus this year is to get better every day," Spitser said. "It will be important we take advantage of every opportunity in the gym."
Two players who saw a lot of gym time last season are returning starters Tanner Pittman, a senior point guard, and junior post player Aiden Foreman.
Pittman, who Spitser described as "probably our best defender," averaged 5 points and 2 assists per game last winter, while the 6-foot-4 Foreman averaged 9.5 points and five rebounds per contest.
"We return leadership and experience at key positions this year," Spitser said. "We will rely a lot on Tanner's leadership and I believe Aiden will open some eyes this season."
Four other returning letter-winners who will battle for starting jobs, and fill key roles on the team, are senior guards Sam and Noah Kubat, as well as sophomore guards Colby Grefe and Isaac Foust.
With so many guards on the varsity roster Spitser said the Eagles will look to play up-tempo basketball this season.
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"We hope to be able to play fast on both ends of the floor," Spitser said. "We hope to continue to develop more depth for us to be able to do this."
Spitser said that sophomore newcomers Nick Smith, who will play both guard and forward, along with Barrett Nielsen, a forward, could help provide some of that depth while also figuring into the regular playing rotation for the Eagles.
"We hope to be able to establish an inside game and be able to knock down outside shots," Spitser said. "Once you start scoring in the post it will open-up the outside for our shooters."
The Eagles, who finished 0-7 in the Nebraska Capitol Conference last season, will open the 2019-2020 season at West Point-Beemer on Dec. 5, before hosting Ashland-Greenwood for their first NCC contest on Dec. 7.
With only one player on the varsity roster taller than 6-foot-3, Spitser said the Eagles will have to overcome that obstacle by always playing hard.
"We will be undersized," Spitser said, "so we have to be willing to bring 'it' every day and play with tons of energy."