Basketball

Girls basketball season opens

BEECHER CITY — Beecher City High School certainly didn't have to go far to find a new head boys' basketball coach.

Following the announcement of Grant Beals' resignation from the post toward the end of the school year, Beecher City has named former Cowden-Herrick head man Terry Pruemer as its new basketball chief.

Pruemer, who wasn't retained after his fifth season with the Hornets, said that the timing of the opening at Beecher City couldn't have been any better.

"This opportunity came up at Beecher City, and I guess they decided to take a chance with me," said Pruemer. "They hadn't hired anybody yet, so it was kind of like walking out one door right when another one opened up."

This will be Pruemer's second head coaching job and third stop in the National Trail Conference; in addition to his time at Cowden-Herrick he also spent five years at Stewardson-Strasburg assisting well-respected Coach Monte Nohren in a number of roles including varsity assistant, Junior varsity assistant, frosh/soph assistant and frosh/soph coach.

Pruemer was also a junior high coach at Stew-Stras for three years prior to his tenure with the Comets' high school program. Additionally, he spent the early 1990s coaching his children in YMCA and AAU ball.

A Teutopolis High School graduate, Pruemer also had the opportunity to play under legendary Coach Lawrence Carie.

The new Beecher City skipper says that learning from the coaches he's been around is key to his own coaching style and will show in his approach to coaching a new team.

"As far as trying to establish myself with the team, I've never really concentrated on that," said Pruemer. "We'll go out there and try to teach the things I learned under Nohren and things I've learned from watching other coaches.

"We'll also try to continue some of those things at Beecher City and we don't want to throw things that have worked for them in the past out the window. You can't go into a new situation and say 'kids, what you've done is all wrong and this is how we're going to do it.'"

Pruemer and his wife Kathy have three children who have attended or are attending Stew-Stras High School despite their Shumway address: Josh and Sara are 2002 and 2003 graduates from Stew-Stras, respectively, while Rebeka will be a junior this fall.

"Beecher City is coming off a very successful year," said Pruemer. "I don't know what the expectations are this year, but we have some kids coming back who have gotten accustomed to winning. We have some seniors that know how to win.

"We've also got a nice freshman team coming that went to the IESA state tournament last year."

Beecher City was 17-12 last year, including a 6-3 NTC mark that was good for a tie with Neoga for third place behind Effingham St. Anthony and Teutopolis.

As mentioned, Pruemer isn't interested in making any sort of sweeping changes at Beecher City. He says that his approach and past systems haven't been that much different that what most area coaches do, anyway.

"Defensively, we probably did a lot of the same things (at Cowden-Herrick) that they (Beecher City) did, and we've just got to find out what to do to best suit the players we have," said Pruemer. "Obviously, if we can we'd like to get it up and down the floor and apply pressure on the defensive end."

Pruemer says that he is nervous and excited about the new gig, but also says that nervousness is not necessarily a negative in sports.

"I'm always nervous for every game, anyway," said Pruemer. "As a competitor, I think you have to have just a few butterflies before a game. That's a good type of feeling because it tells you you're not taking (the other team) for granted or that you know you have a chance to beat them."

While nobody is ever thrilled not to be retained at a job, Pruemer also says that he holds no ill will toward Cowden-Herrick and looks forward to playing against the Hornets as the two schools have a healthy rivalry and frequently meet for homecoming contests.

"It'll be fun, but hopefully it'll be like any other game," said Pruemer on the prospect of facing Cowden-Herrick for the first time. "It's always a nice crowd and a good atmosphere when they play. (Cowden-Herrick) also has a great group of kids that should be pretty good this year.

"I for sure don't hold any animosity toward Cowden-Herrick. They gave me a chance to be a head coach, and I'll forever remember that. I will always be appreciative of what Cowden-Herrick did for me, giving me a chance to coach at the varsity level."

Dustin White can be reached at 217-347-7151 ext. 123 or dustin.white@effinghamdailynews.com

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