Brassell, Wood push basketball squad | SteamboatToday.com

Brassell, Wood push basketball squad

Despite new look, Sailors basketball team has same old expectations

— The coach, most of the players and the look of the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball all are new.

But the expectations for one of the most successful prep programs in Colorado history remain intact. So, despite returning just one starter and employing a lineup full of sophomores and players with minimal varsity experience, the Sailors don’t expect to leave their perch at the top of the Western Slope League.

“I think our expectations will be the same as they always are,” said senior Nelson Brassell, who goes from sixth man last year to go-to guy this year. “My expectations aren’t any lower than any other year I’ve been here.”

Along with Brassell, Steamboat’s lone returning starter is senior Alex Wood. Joining them are guards Isiah Forsyth, Charles Wood and Jack Spady.

Add in a slew of capable reserves, and coach Luke

DeWolfe said this Steamboat team has the potential to create some mismatches.

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“We may be young, but we’re talented and skilled,” DeWolfe said. “There’s a lot of different looks we can give other teams. There is a lot of depth here.”

The biggest challenge the Sailors might face will be finding the chemistry to make them a successful team.

Although most of the players played together during the summer with great success, the start of the season has been tough on several players.

The Sailors have been without the services of Alex Wood (hip), Charles Wood (knee) and Forsyth (knee) for most of the preseason.

All are expected back Monday, but DeWolfe said finding continuity and defining roles are still things Steamboat has to do.

“We’ve got to figure out who we are, gain some of that identity and go from there,” DeWolfe said. “I think it’s going to be a work in progress for a little while for us.”

One thing DeWolfe can count on is Brassell.

The senior flashed his potential last year and spent all of the summer and fall in the gym refining his game.

The 6-foot-5 Brassell said he concentrated during the summer on getting stronger and diversifying his game.

Judging from early results – and several summer camp Most Valuable Player awards – Brassell is primed for a big year.

“It’s just been hours and hours and hours in this gym and that weight room,” Brassell said. “I’ve taken more shots than I care to think about. It’s being relentless. When I’m at my house, I want to be here. It’s just being a gym rat.”

Steamboat should find out relatively quickly how good the team is. In addition to the Roaring Fork Tournament to start the season, the Sailors host the Steamboat ShootOut and travel to Green River, Wyo., for a tournament.

The ShootOut and Green River tournaments each bring some of the top teams from around the state.

Although DeWolfe said it might take some time to see the potential of the Sailors, he has no doubt Steamboat will be tough when league play starts at the first of the year.

“I want it to be a season where we have a lot of fun, and fun through a lot of good teammanship,” DeWolfe said. “I want us getting better and better and at the end of the year be playing our best basketball.”