St. John Eagles and head coach Tyler Howsen have had rough outings of late. This summer, however, the Eagles are looking better than ever as they return key starters and sign on a few new faces.
Howsen and his Eagles squad competed in the White Castle summer league twice a week in the month of June and participated in a team camp at the University of New Orleans.
“We won a few games and played some really good teams close,” Howsen said. “Our kids are starting to build some confidence and believe we can compete at a new level.”
The Eagles return just about every player from last season, including returning starters Adam Blanchard, Devin Brock and Conner Barbee. St. John also has a few new guys that will help out immediately.
Junior Austin Thomas, a transfer from Albany, will be returning to his roots at St. John this hoops season. He was an Eagle until his freshman year when he transferred to Albany for two seasons and will don the Eagles jersey this school year.
“We are extremely excited to have him back in our program,” Howsen said. “He grew up playing with these guys. I thought we played with great team chemistry this summer, largely in part due to him being able to have an immediate impact and the familiarity with the other guys.”
The Eagles also have three new incoming freshmen that will have an immediate impact for the team and help with building depth, a glaring issue for the squad in the previous season.
The Eagles earned the No. 11 seed in the newly created Division IV postseason playoff bracket in 2017 and advanced as far as the second round after defeating No. 22 St. Edmund in round one. They fell to No. 6 in round two to Central Catholic.
“I’m proud of how hard we played over the summer and how well we played together,” Howsen added. “We are very excited about the upcoming season.”