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story.lead_photo.caption SubmittedCaleb Thomas was named the new head coach for the Jamestown Eagles’ high school and junior high basketball teams. Thomas previously spent three years as an assistant coach for the Eagles’ varsity team, returning after a stint at Stover.

The Jamestown Eagles boys basketball team will have a familiar face back in the fold at the head coach position for the upcoming season.

Caleb Thomas was named the new head coach for Jamestown’s varsity and junior high school boys basketball teams.

Thomas previously served as an assistant coach for Jamestown’s varsity team for three years from 2015-18 before heading to Stover, where he also spent three years as a varsity assistant coach.

Thomas said he decided to come back to Jamestown because of his familiarity with the school and because of the respect he had for the school administration from his first stint with the Eagles.

Having an impact on his players’ lives is his favorite thing about coaching, Thomas said.

“My favorite thing about coaching is being able to see the impact you can have on your student athletes and to see them grow in life and as an athlete,” Thomas said.

When the season begins, he said, some of the skills the team will focus on include shooting the ball, rebounding, and pressure defense and conditioning.

“One, we are going to spend a lot of time shooting the ball; obviously that’s an important skill, but it’s definitely something we need to be a strength for us,” Thomas said. “Two, rebounding, offensively and defensively. Being able to create second chances and limit other teams’ second chances is something I would also like to be our strength. Three, pressure defense and conditioning. We are going to press and run a lot. If we can be really good at both of those, we should have the ability to be really competitive.”

As the season moves along, the plan is for practices to take on a new look, Thomas said.

“Practices will look different as things progress,” Thomas said. “(At the) beginning of the season and pre-season, the focus is going to be getting all of our offensive stuff in and running well, also learning what we want from the defensive side of things. A lot of individual skill work, shooting, dribbling, dribble moves, and post moves and scoring. As much focus on the little things as possible. As the season progresses, some practice time will always be dedicated to preparation for the upcoming opponent…to go along with everyday practice habits.”

As the season moves along, Thomas said he would like to see the team develop confidence in the way they play.

“Focus on being prepared for every game as much as possible and being confident, we have a chance to win every game,” Thomas said.

Thomas said he has very simple expectations for the players during the season: to always bring their “three essentials,” energy, effort and intensity. Eagles athletes under Thomas should also be prepared to demonstrate high-quality sportsmanship, be the kind of teammate each player would want to have, and have fun.

Thomas said when the season starts, having fun and showing good effort are going to be at the forefront.

“Goals for when the season starts are as follows: compete in every game to the best of our ability, demonstrate sportsmanship to the highest degree, do what I think we are capable of defensively, and the old cliche: have as much fun as possible,” Thomas said.

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