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Frosh coach reflects on promising season

Freshmen Boys Basketball Coach Joey Jergo, alongside Assistant Junior Varsity Coach Rob Tucker speaking to the JV boys basketball team. Photo by Claire Schad

This article is fourth in a series about new coaches at Bear River.

Upon reflecting on the Freshmen Boys Basketball season, Coach Joey Jergo sees losses but, more importantly, amazing potential.

Coach Jergo, who led Bear River’s Freshmen team for the first time this year, said the season was marked by the constant loss of players to the struggling Varsity and Junior Varsity team’s. Despite this challenge, the freshmen team went on to have a winning record of 6-4. But, according to Coach Jergo, perhaps his greatest achievement was becoming a Bruin family member.

“In my opinion, it was a great season with all things considered,” said Coach Jergo. “Despite three of the boys moving up to JV and Varsity, everyone from one-to-13 stepped up and made improvements from practice to practice, game by game.”

Coach Jergo shared his experience as a coach and former player.

“Basketball was essentially my 24/7 lifeline growing up,” he said. “(I) played four years at Colfax High School, then one year at Simpson University in Redding. As far as coaching goes, I have coached AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) for the last six years, as well as three years at Weimar Hills, and one season as the Bowman girls coach.”

Freshmen Bruins felt Coach Jergo was not just a coach, but a player as well.

“If he needed to, he would play with us,” said Adam Malik. “He was kind of like a player but, when it came game time, he was a serious coach. He did whatever we needed him to do to win.”

“He fit really well with the team,” said Anthony Vierra. “He was like another player. He was enthusiastic and always had fun.”

Coach Jergo appreciated being able to lead the way for his players on the court.

“Being a younger coach has it’s benefits, whether it’s be being a part of drills or scrimmages with the players, or something as subtle as keeping up with today’s world,” he said.

Players felt that Coach Jergo gave them a season to learn from.

“The drills helped me out personally and were also fun,” said Vierra. “They were hard and improved my skills a lot. He taught us how to get better.”

“I like how he ran practice and how he taught us to be better players,” said Malik. “He taught us what we needed to do and gave us the freedom to do it.”

“He actually wants us to be better,” said Jackson O’Sullivan, a freshman. “I learned a  lot from that season.”

The players admired Coach Jergo both personally and as a coach.

“He was a really good coach,” said Malik. “He brought us to the best of all levels, better than JV and Varsity basketball.”

“He’s a good guy,” said Vierra. “He always keeps you up and helps you out. If you need a laugh he’s always there.”

“He’s a really good coach,” said O’Sullivan. “He was pretty chill the entire season, has a good sense of humor, and made practices fun.”

Coach Jergo’s only regret was that they couldn’t play more games.

“The only thing I wish that was different was that there were more games for these boys to play,” he said. “To have watched the growth in such a short span of time, I would have loved to have a couple more games scheduled.”

Although he doesn’t know if he is returning to coach next year, Coach Jergo said he is hopeful that he will be able to continue his tenure at Bear River. He also expressed his hopes for all Bear River Basketball players.

“I hope for the boys (on all three levels) to continue to strive to be better young men in the community, as well as in the classroom and on the court.”

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Frosh coach reflects on promising season