Grosulak new coach for Rangers, first test Friday against Big Piney

GAZETTE PHOTO / Theresa Davis

New head coach Jim Grosulak and assistant coaches Wade Fiscus and Erik Becker prepare the Ranger basketball team for practice. The Kemmerer boys open their season against Big Piney at the Bridger Valley Classic.

The Kemmerer Rangers boys’ basketball team is back on the court, this time under the direction of new head coach Jim Grosulak.

Grosulak said he is excited to coach this Ranger team.

“I’ve watched these players grow up and develop over the years,” Grosulak said. “There’s definitely excitement here, and I think we’re all ready to do whatever it takes to achieve our goals.”

Although this is his first season as head coach for the Rangers, Grosulak is an experienced basketball coach who has been an assistant with the team before. He played basketball in high school and in college at Dickinson State in North Dakota.

“Basketball was a saving grace for me. When I was about 10 years old, it gave me direction with some personal challenges in my life,” Grosulak said.  “The competition and the teamwork make you rely on others. It’s not just working toward your own goals, but achieving those goals with other people, which makes the reward that much better when you get there.”

The Rangers struggled to convert their enthusiasm into wins last season, winning only a handful of games and missing a chance at the state tournament. 

Grosulak said this season’s Ranger team will approach success game by game, beginning with this weekend’s matchups in the Bridger Valley Classic tournament. 

“We’re taking it one step at a time,” Grosulak said. “The boys’ effort in practice is great. They have good ball-handling skills, and they’re able to understand the plays and the importance of teamwork.”

Kemmerer will take on Big Piney on Friday, Dec. 7, in Mountain View as part of the Bridger Valley tournament.

“For that first game, we just need to focus on what we can control,” Grosulak said. “We want to perform aggressively on defense, keep our turnovers down and take care of the ball.”

The Rangers have four seniors on the roster: Tanner Plowman, Cole Meeks, TC Coles and Cameron Adams.

“I’m really looking to them for leadership and experience,” Grosulak said. “We also have several young kids with experience, so that will be good for the team.”

Grosulak said his team has several goals for this new season.

“We want a winning season,” Grosulak said. “We’re looking to win the conference and advance to regionals. That means our practices have to be spot-on every day.” 

Eric Becker and Wade Fiscus are assistant coaches for the Ranger boys, and Grosulak said he thinks the different coaching styles will be beneficial for the team.

“We’ve got a great coaching staff with lots of knowledge,” Grosulak said. “Players will pick up different things and learn best from different coaches.”

“We’re excited to push the ball up and down the floor and really make the other team’s defense work,” Grosulak said. “The goal is to turn all that into scoring opportunities.”

Tipoff for Kemmerer’s first game against Big Piney (to be played in Mountain View) is 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

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