By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Kyle Williams has three returning starters in his first season as boys basketball coach at Carl Junction High School.
They are 6-foot-5 senior Hunter McPherson, 6-1 senior Travis Vogt and 6-0 junior Matt Magee.
Vogt shared Big 8 Conference most valuable player honors with Kyler Ng of Seneca in 2011-12. Magee made the second all-league team.
Ryan Odaffer, who resigned to take an administrative position in the Carl Junction system, guided the Bulldogs to a share of the league title with Mount Vernon and Seneca at 6-1.
Carl Junction, seeded No. 1, opens the campaign against Monett at 6 p.m. on Monday in the Carthage Tournament.
Williams, who was at Lamar of the Big 8 last season, listed a probable lineup of Magee, McPherson, Vogt, 6-1 senior J. Thomas and 6-0 junior Dustin Satterlee.
Completing the current 11-player varsity roster are 6-4 senior Andrew Wilson, 6-3 junior Gaige Crokett, 6-3 sophomore Chase Johnson, 6-0 sophomore Andrew Reed, 5-10 sophomore Cody Vogt (Travis’ brother) and 6-0 freshman Ryan Devore.
Williams, who’s pleased with the embracing of leadership roles by the returning starters, said the Bulldogs are “hanging their hats” on defense and mental and physical toughness.
“We’ve been shooting the ball extremely well,” Williams said.
Williams also is pleased with the Bulldogs’ depth.
“We have several good players,” he said. “We have solid players around (Travis) Vogt, Magee and McPherson.”
“The No. 1 concern is our ability to rebound,” Williams said. “We’re small and we’re basically going with four guards in our starting lineup. We’ll have to rely a lot on the rebounding of the guards.
“We want to get up and down the floor,” Williams said. “We want to play fast on both ends of the floor.”
Williams, 30, is a 2001 graduate of Baxter Springs High School. He attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Miami before finishing at Wichita State.
He was at WSU for three years, He was a walk-on for Mark Turgeon as well as a student manager the first year. He was a graduate assistant and video coordinator the next two years.
He began coaching at the prep level with a two-year stint under Mitch Fiegel at Wichita Collegiate. Then it was to Howard (Kan.) West Elk and Lamar for two years apiece.
Lamar won a district title last season before losing to Kansas City Hogan in the first round of Class 3.
Williams’ assistants this season are Austin Rhodes, Adam Merrell, Paden Bennett and Steven Tackett. Bennett and Tackett are former Bulldogs who wound up their college careers at Ozark Christian in 2011-12.