Eagles look to accentuate positive in rebuilding season


The 1993 season looks like an uphill battle for the Francis Scott Key Eagles.

They lost four starters to graduation and have no one bigger than 6-2 on this year's roster. For every negative, there's a positive in coach Jeff Cook's way of thinking and that's the approach the Eagles will take as they try to fly high in 1993.

"I'm happy with what I've seen, the players are working hard and right now that's all I can ask for," he said.

As for the lack of experience, Cook says he doesn't know what to expect until the young Eagles get into game situations. "We'll get better and better as the season goes on," he said.

And to offset the lack of height: "We have numbers this year, more depth which will allow us to run and play uptempo, unlike last year."

Junior forward Steven Wright is the lone starter back. He averaged just over 10 points a game last season in his second year of varsity.

"He's only a junior but has already played a couple of seasons on varsity so we'll look to him to do a little of everything and provide some leadership," Cook said.

The Eagles have a solid nucleus of outside shooters to complement the running game.

Along with Wright, Cook can look to senior Kyle Stephenson and junior Dan Stephenson -- a guard/brother tandem that transferred from Broadneck at the end of the last school year.

"Kyle and Dan will both help. Kyle was on varsity last year at Broadneck, while Dan was on junior varsity," Cook said.

"We may have to use Kyle at point guard some, but would rather have him shooting the ball."

Cook also is counting on newcomers Mike Crawmer and Topher Casserly to put the ball in the basket. Crawmer, a 6-2 sophomore, will see time at point guard and also can play forward. Casserly is a 6-2 junior who can play both guard and forward.

"We have a good shooting team," Cook said.

"We have much more outside shooting than in the past. Last year, teams threw zones at us and it gave us problems because we didn't have the outside shooting. This year, we won't go to any one guy. They all shoot pretty well from the outside."

A big concern for Cook in preseason scrimmages has been a lack of rebounding. The Eagles' inside players -- senior Ethan Steiner (6-0) and juniors Chris Richardson (5-10) and Joey Brooks (6-1) are talented, but small. They must find a way to control the boards.

"We're very small," Cook said. "But if everyone gets a body and boxes out, things will take care of itself. With our size, we have to be a little more aggressive in getting people off the boards."

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