From the bench to the court, the 2008-09 season will be one of change in the Central Hudson Valley League.
Six of the league's nine teams have new coaches, and most are dealing with significant player turnover.
Berlin's Alan Webster and Germantown's Jack Thomas join Gary Ocean of Hawthorne Valley as the only three coaching holdovers from a year ago.
Last year's co-champs, Berlin and Germantown, were among those hit by graduation.
"It should be an interesting year," said Webster, the dean of league coaches, entering his 19th season.
Berlin lost first-team all-star Karl Brock, but brings back 6-foot-3
senior Chris Zema, last year's league co-MVP, 6-2 senior Brent Demick and 6-2 senior Eric Remington from last year's team that went 14-2 in CHVL play
Another senior, 6-4 Brad Deyo, will move from the sixth man into a more prominent role.
Germantown (14-2, 17-4) graduated all five seniors, including co-MVP Ryan Broast, and unexpectedly lost its point guard to
academic ineligibility and Max Kelly, who transferred to a Massachusetts prep school.
The Clippers do bring back sophomore guards Cody Broast and Tom Griffin, both league all-stars, Broast on the first team.
Junior forwards D.J. Lyons, and Jon Diehl and guard Brandon Jason will see plenty of playing time.
For the third time in as many seasons, Waterford-Halfmoon will have a new face in front of the bench. Jon Desso, formerly the girls’ varsity coach at Bishop Maginn, takes over for Todd Hayes, who led the Fordians to a third-place finish last year.
Four players return for Waterford, joining with several newcomers that has Desso excited about their potential.
Senior guards Jeff Yattaw, an honorable mention all-star, and Wade Daus, senior center Mike Hilton and senior forward Wendell Carr are all back. Senior Joe Harder, a transfer from CBA, will start at point guard. Sophomores Matt Berthume (6-4) and Tom Brazil (6-5) provide size inside.
"We should be a pretty good team," Desso said. "We seem to be a pretty talented group. We've got some quick, athletic guards and we have some good size inside. We definitely could be one of the sleeper teams in our league."
Another team that could fill that role is Loudonville Christian, which finished fourth at 10-6 after going undefeated in 2006-07. Brian Johnson, an assistant to Wally Hills last year, is the new coach.
Johnson inherits a team that lost nine players, but has two starters back among its three veterans:
6-2 junior guard Cullen Overholt, a first-team all-star, and 6-3 senior forward Jared Rebeor. He and
6-3 senior forward Mark Smith are co-captains.
For the first time in eight years, perennial contender Heatly has a new coach in Peter Heffern, former jayvee coach and assistant to Steve Karweil.
He returns four players in
seniors Lashon Pringle at center, Brandon Fish and Peter Heffern at guard and Will Murtha at forward. Sophomore Alex Heffern will also see time at forward.
Doane Stuart has a new coach in John Wager, whose son, 6-7,
200-pound junior Lucas Wager, should be one of the league's dominant players.
New Lebanon graduated first-team all-star Shane McHugh but brings back 6-3 senior forward Jake LeBlanc and 6-4 sophmore center Bryan Potter.
Coach: Thomas Bennett.
Last year's record: 5-11 league, 5-14 overall.
Coach: Alan Webster.
Last year's record: 14-2, 15-5.
Top returning players: Chris Zema, senior, forward; Brent Demick, seniort, center; Eric Remington, senior, forward; Drew Webster, junior; Casey Gilbert, senior guard.
Coach: John Wager.
Last year's record: 2-13, 2-14.
Top returning players: Kameron Cary, senior, center; Justin Kwan, senior, guard; Lucas Wager, junior, center; Thomas Hnhenstein-Flach, junior, forward.
Coach: Jack Thomas.
Last year's record: 14-2, 17-4.
Top returning players: Cody Broast, sophomore, guard; Tom Griffin, sophmore, guard.
Coach: Gary Ocean.
Last year's record: 1-14, 1-14.
Top returning players: James Jackson, senior guard/forward; Alan Gallardo,
junior, guard; Zane Coffey, junior, forward/center; Emil DeJong, junior, center.
Coach: Peter Heffern.
Last year's record: 9-7, 9-11.
Top returning players: Lashon Pringle, senior, center; Brandon Fish, senior, guard; Will Murtha, senior, forward; Peter Heffern, junior, guard; Alex Heffern, sophomore, forward.
Coach: Brian Johnson.
Last year's record: 10-6, 11-9.
Top returning players: Jared Rebeor,
senior, forward; Mark Smith, senior, forward; Cullen Overholt, junior, guard.
Coach: Joe DeCicco.
Last year's record: 5-11, 5-14.
Top returning players: Jake LeBlanc, senior, forward; Bryan Potter, sophomore, center; Kodiak Mullins, senior, forward; Kevin Hanley, senior, center.
Coach: Jon Desso.
Last year's record: 11-5, 11-9.
Top returning players: Wade Daus,
senior, guard; Mike Hilton, senior, center; Wendell Carr, senior, forward; Jeff Yattaw, senior, guard.