By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
New coach Randy Robertson expects four players with starting experience will be in the lineup as the McAuley Catholic boys open their basketball season tonight by visiting Liberal.
The junior varsity boys game launches the tripleheader at 5:30 before the varsity teams clash at 7 and 8:30.
Robertson, who’s assisted by Ryan Toombs, has been coaching for more than 30 years. He’s a graduate of Metz High School, Crowder College and Missouri Southern and has a master’s degree from Missouri State.
Robertson believes the players with starting experience are 6-foot-4 senior Shaw Robertson, 5-11 junior Cole Lowry, 6-0 senior Connor Schlegel and 6-1 sophomore Adam Robertson.
Trey Melton, a 6-5 junior, is expected to round out the starters, Robertson said.
Four seniors are among players expected off the bench in twins Anthony Calcagno (5-10) and Philip Calcagno (5-8), Zach Crossland (5-11) and Tanner Riscoe (6-2).
Chris Taylor, a 5-8 junior, and sophomores Andrew Castillo (5-9) and Latham Vlasin (6-3) complete the current roster.
Shaw Robertson earned honorable mention all-Ozark 7 Conference honors last season as the Warriors finished 2-10 in the league.
“I believe the players are ready to win some games,” Coach Robertson said. “I like their athleticism. I like their basketball IQ. I like their willingness to try things in a new system.
“Our success during football has helped,” Coach Robertson said. “We’ll know more about things after the opener tomorrow night. We’ll see how they react.”
Robertson, who coached the second half of last season at Russellville, near Jefferson City, spent 17 of his coaching years at Billings, It finished runner-up to Jefferson in Class 1 in 2000.
Robertson is married to the former Nancy Gordon of Bronaugh (who competed in basketball and track at Missouri Southern). She’s a longtime teacher in the Aurora system.
Nancy and Randy have three children — Brett, who was an all-stater at Billings, and daughters Brooke and Briana. Brett is an engineer with Wal-Mart, Brooke a lawyer in St. Louis and Briana a senior at Cassville.
The Warriors don’t play at home until Dec. 11 against Jasper.