PALMYRA, Mo. — A new era has begun for the Palmyra boys basketball team as Brian Rea enters his first season as the Panthers head coach.
Rea spent the past 12 years at Payson Seymour and had a 256-85 record with the Indians. He takes over for Ryan Wood, who stepped down after five seasons at the helm following a Class 3 District 6 title last season.
Rea said its been an easy transition to Palmyra after previously coaching in Illinois.
“It’s the pace of play and the style of play that we are implementing right now and we’ll work on cleaning it up as we go on,” Rea said. “It will look a little chaotic at first, but that’s how my teams at Payson were and we had a good run of success. Hopefully we can get better and to what Palmyra basketball was — one of the premier programs in the state, regardless of size.”
Palmyra graduated five players from last year’s district title team, including All-Conference selections Zane Meyers, Aaron Stamper and Abe Haerr.
So there will be new faces on the court, as well as new faces on the coaching staff this year.
“There’s a few of them returning with decent playing time and there’s some with barely any,” Rea said. “So we are relatively new, so our goals are to get better each week. I’m not putting a number of wins on it or anything like that. I just want them to go out and give ourselves a chance every time we play.”
The most experienced players returning are seniors Adam Goodwin, Laydin Lochman and Alex Loman, who had big roles on last year’s team.
Other seniors on the team include Ryan McKeown, Brayden Shannon, Landyn Smith, Mason Roberts and Jimmy Scott.
Rea said he will look to the seniors to help teach the younger players.
“It’s just a little different for them (because) the system is different than what Coach Wood had,” Rea said. “Coach Wood is a great coach and they’ve been coached well. They understand the game, so it’s now just learning how to play a little different style.”
Center Bear Bock was a starter as a freshman last season and looks to have a even bigger role on the team for his sophomore year.
“(We want him) to step up again, be even better and use his experience to help us out,” Rea said. “Again, he’s only a sophomore. He’s still got a lot of growing to do as a players, as do all of them. It’s going to be enjoyable to watch them grow as players and as a team.”
Palmyra has big numbers this season, with 13 varsity players and another 13 players on the junior varsity squad.
Rea said the kids have great attitudes and the coaching staff is trying to find a way to utilize their talents.
“I’m trying to teach them that being part of a team and part of something special is more important than the individual part,” Rea said. “Trying to keep it fun for them and competitive. Anybody has a chance to play. If you do things right, have a great attitude, you give tremendous effort and you help us out on the floor there is playing time for you.”
Nov. 23 — at Elsberry
Nov. 30 — Mark Twain
Dec. 3 — Canton
Dec. 6 -11 — Monroe City Tournament
Dec. 14 — at QND
Dec. 17 — at Unity
Dec. 20 — Louisiana
Jan. 3-8 — Highland Tournament
Jan. 11 — at North Point
Jan. 14 — at Centralia
Jan. 17-22 — Tony Lenzini Tournament
Jan. 25 — at Brookfield
Jan. 28 — Macon
Feb. 1 — at Clark County
Feb. 2 — Kirksville
Feb. 4 — South Shelby
Feb. 8 — at Monroe City
Feb. 10 — Bowling Green
Feb. 15 — at Hannibal
Feb. 18 — Highland