Eagles off to hot start

Del Oro looks overcome sectional loss
By: Justin Lawson
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LOOMIS – When last year’s Del Oro High boys basketball team fell to Del Campo in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Division II playoffs the saddest emotions came from the seniors, who had played their last game in a Golden Eagles uniform. While tears steadily rolled down the players’ faces it was the then juniors who bottled up that emotion and saved it as motivation. “Every time you think about not going 100 percent, every time you think about taking a day off, you just think about that losing feeling and how disappointed you were,” said Alan Kidwell, now a senior. Disappointment has a way of motivating some people and it has seemed to work thus far for Del Oro. The Golden Eagles are off to a 6-1 start in which they’ve notched five wins by 14 or more points. The core group of players from last year’s team went to work on the 2011-12 season the day after the playoff loss. They hit the weight room, worked on fundamentals and built a bond they say has made a difference this year. “We have definitely gotten stronger as a team unit and it’s less individuals bickering within the team,” said senior point guard Rex Hime. “We’re more cohesive.” Cohesiveness is important to any team but even more so for Del Oro, which runs a clamp-down style of defense along with an up-tempo offense that relies heavily on chemistry. While the chemistry has been good so far it could get even better. Taylor Bergthold is out with a knee injury until mid-January and Jordan Broyles is out indefinitely with a back injury. Blake Covey and Austin Soldano, though, will add depth with their return. The two were part of Del Oro’s section champion football team, which played Dec. 17 in the CIF State Bowl Championship, and participated in practice Monday for the first time this season. “I think that one of the things that we’re really doing is making a commitment to the defensive end of the floor, kids have really bought into that” said Del Oro coach Geoff Broyles. “Defensively, I think we’ve been pretty strong so far and it’s something that’s going to be an emphasis for us all year. “We have a lot of experience coming back and we just now have some players coming back. Getting our football players back is going to be huge. So we’ve had a lot of kids who have played together.” Del Oro will use an intense preseason schedule to get prepared for the Sierra Foothill League. It plays in the National Prep Classic in Santa Maria this week where Los Angeles powerhouse Westchester awaits. The Golden Eagles could potentially meet up with Sheldon – one of the top teams in the Sacramento area. The Golden Eagles will need the warm up. They finished third in league last season behind Granite Bay and Woodcreek. Granite Bay, which beat Del Oro in last year’s regular season finale 62-55, was the first team players mentioned when asked what team will pose the biggest challenge. “Granite Bay for sure,” said Jordan Broyles, Geoff Broyles’ son. “They play extremely hard, scrappy basketball and I think they’ll definitely give us a big challenge.”