Austin Lopez pulls down a rebound in the second half.
Austin Lopez pulls down a rebound in the second half.

   Those attending a Ripon Tiger varsity boys’ basketball game this winter might want to grab a program as they head into the game.

   Gone are 10 of the 16 players who led Ripon to a 27-1 record last year and its first state tournament berth since 2003. Also gone are all but one member of last year’s coaching staff.

   One person who won’t need a program is coach Steve Brooks.

   The long-time JV coach received the call-up to the varsity level along with the majority of the players he will be coaching after Dean Vander Plas stepped down following 21 years at the helm.

   “For me, with the exception of Marshall [Morrin], I will now have coached every kid that is on my varsity roster at some point in the program,” Brooks said. “So obviously there’s that comfort level that we have with each other. As far as the JV team from last year moving on to the next level, we can pick up kind of where we left off.”

   He added the familiarity has helped in terms of spending less time getting to know one another.

Read the full story, which includes information on some of the players and his goals for the team, in the Nov. 30, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.