The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

June 12, 2012

Johnson takes over Sarcoxie basketball

Kyle Johnson, new boys basketball coach at Sarcoxie High School, likes what he’s been seeing.

Monday was the second day for the Bears at the College of the Ozarks Team Camp in Point Lookout, Mo. That camp followed another — the Tri-Lakes at Branson — and the Seneca Shootout. Nine other varsity teams are at C of O, Johnson said.

Johnson replaced Steve Butterfield at Sarcoxie. Butterfield, in his fourth year with the Bears, guided them to records of 14-11 overall and 6-3 in the Spring River Valley Conference in 2011-12.

Phil Lewis, Sarcoxie principal, said Monday that Butterfield will continue his lengthy career at Montrose. Lewis said it’s believed Butterfield will be the head coach in baseball, boys basketball and girls basketball as well as athletic director.

Johnson, who’ll be 27 on Oct. 29, assisted Eli Ernst for the past three seasons at Fordland High School of the Summit Conference.

Lewis said Johnson was selected from an original list of some 20-25 candidates. Lewis and athletic director Jeff Kabance basically whittled that list down to three.

Gerod Hall, moving from Seneca, will assist Johnson in 2012-13. Current plans call for Johnson to teach physical education and help Dale Rice in baseball.

“Positives” for the Bears so far, according to Johnson, start with juniors Justin Myers and Garett Triplett.

“Myers, who’s 6-foot-2 (an all-leaguer), will be our leader (at point),” Johnson said. “He’s smart, athletic, quick and can handle the ball. Triplett, about 6-4 or 6-5, works very hard. He’s muscular, strong defensively and helps us so much on the boards.

“Myers and Triplett head a good group of juniors,” Johnson said. “We also have a good group of incoming freshmen. We’re loaded with guards.”

Austin Lynch, a senior, and junior Jade Bloss are other key veterans, Johnson said.

Johnson, a 2004 graduate of Niangua High School, near Marshfield, attended Central Methodist for two years and Evangel for one before securing his degree from Drury. He did his student teaching at Fordland.

Johnson has an uncle (Ken Ferguson) coaching at Washburn Southwest.

“My mom and his wife are sisters,” Johnson, who was born at Rolla, said. “My dad (Kevin Johnson) coached at Laquey, Albany and Niangua and is now assistant principal at Norwood.”

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