Koepke Takes Over at Bellaire
BELLAIRE – For the first time in more than 25 years, the Bellaire boys basketball team has a new man on the sideline.
Paul Koepke took over for the Eagles this season after hall of fame head coach Stan Sexton retired after coaching for more than two decades. But according to Koepke, a new coach doesn’t mean a new way of doing things.
“We understand kind of the Bellaire way of doing things so yeah, it’s going to be a transition, but a lot of the things they’ve seen before in the Bellaire community are going to be consistent with what they’re going to see on the court,” Koepke said. “We’ve learned a lot from Stan, and we’re going to continue to work that into our system.”
The Eagles see many similarities between the two as well.
“He was pretty strict on conditioning and sharp passes. No turnovers, no anything, no mistakes, and that helped us a lot. That helped us seniors a lot. And he’s kind of the same way. He’s more laid back,” senior Griffon Niepoth said.
The Eagles have won six consecutive Ski Valley Conference championships. This is something that Koepke and his players hope to keep rolling.
“I don’t think we’ve lost conference in a long time, and my senior year, I plan on making sure that stays. And with the team we have I definitely think that’s possible,” senior Curtis Corbin said.
“There’s some pressure, but I think we can do it, obviously. I think we’ve got the team for it. I think we’re perfectly capable of it,” he said.
For Koepke, doing things the right way is most important.
“I feel like I can only do what I can do and be myself. So, I’m excited about the challenge, I’m excited about the future of basketball. I’ve been involved with Bellaire basketball since the early 2000s as a middle school coach, and assistant coach, so I know what’s expected, what we’re going try to put on the court during the game, so I’m excited about that,” he said. “So, I hope we can make the Bellaire community proud and we’ll work hard and do it the right way and we’ll do it with class and we’ll do it with sportsmanship.”
The Eagles are 0-1 so far this season and play Charlevoix on Thursday.