By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
It’s likely that Terry Tyree Jr., new head boys basketball coach at Quapaw High School, won’t have an abundance of salty veterans when the 2013-14 season tips off.
What the heck, though.
Tyree already knew that was in the immediate future after assisting Aaron Bland with the Class 2A Wildcats the past five seasons.
Bland resigned earlier this spring to enter the ministry after falling short of 20 wins the past two seasons.
Said Tyree on Thursday: “We had 24 players at our first meeting (of the summer) and 21 were underclassmen. There were no seniors. Beau Kibel, a junior, will be our most experienced player.”
But Tyree, who’s entering his seventh season overall at Quapaw, has found several positives.
“I’m looking forward to this experience very much,” Tyree said. “These kids are so enthusiastic. They’ve bought into the ‘Aces.’
“That’s attitude, coachability and effort,” Tyree said with a laugh. “It equals success. We’ve meshed as a team. They pull for each other.
“We found a couple of guys — juniors Tyler Owens (6-foot-3) and Carder Schroeder (6-5) — who hadn’t been playing basketball. That may have been our No. 1 positive.
“We also were physical,” Tyree said. “That I hadn’t noticed much before.”
Tyree said Collin Dawson, a 6-5 junior, probably would have gained valuable experience last season but was sidelined by an ACL injury.
Expected to contribute as sophomores, Tyree said, are Alec Hayward, Garrett Kelly and Shaun Tune.
The Wildcats held their mini-camp on May 22-23 after spring football before a team camp at Fairland on June 4-5. They posted a 5-3 record in their division during a team camp on June 14-16 at the University of Arkansas.
Tyree will be assisted by new head football coach Chuck Preaus.
“We’ll get to know each other very well,” Tyree said. “I’ll be his defensive coordinator.”
Tyree, 41, is a head coach in basketball for the first time since 1997-98. He began his coaching career with one year at Breckenridge in northwest Missouri and was head coach of both girls and boys.
Tyree, a product of Picher High School (1990), Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and Pittsburg State, remained in Missouri — some years were away from education — in varied coaching capacities at Lamar (4), Liberal (2) and Jasper (1) before returning to Oklahoma.
Tyree won’t mind his athletic director looking over his shoulder.
Terry Tyree Sr. is the AD as well as principal.
“Definitely, Dad influenced me as a coach,” Terry Jr. said. “I was blessed with two marvelous parents (Margie is mom).”