St. Joe's boys basketball coach Wielk pleased with team's conditioning work

Jason James will be the Cadet's playmaker from the point guard position.

Jason James will be the Cadet's playmaker from the point guard position.

David G. Whitham / For Hearst Connecticut Media

TRUMBULL - St. Joseph boys’ basketball coach Kevin Wielk has a game plan in place to combat both the impact of COVID-19 and the abbreviated season schedule.

“First off, Dan McDonagh our trainer and Alyssa Thresher our strength coach gave the kids a great virtual off-season workout plan,” Wielk said. “The players got to get in their conditioning, lifted in groups of four, and came to our first practice in pretty good shape.

“Everything is going good, we didn’t scrimmage (one allowed in league),” said Wielk, whose team went 14-10 a year ago. “We go hard in practice, we do a lot of competitive drills, I think we will be okay.”

Having a deep rotation goes hand in hand with helping his team stay in playing shape.

“One-hundred percent we are going to go deeper into our bench,” Wielk said. “I told the guys not to pace themselves; to go as hard as you can. Then they can call for a sub, rest, and go back in.”

Wielk is comfortable with his team’s size and speed.

“We will be a little more athletic and faster this year,” he said. “Jason James is back for his third season at point guard as a junior. Derek Long will be our 2-guard, Glenn Manigault will be the 3 (strong forward), and Brian Robertson is our 5 (center). Tommy Shannon was our 4 (small forward) last year. We have a trio of transfers in Eli Newby (Bullard-Havens), Charlie Hare (Shelton) and Jon Nieves (Staples).”

As for the schedule?

“Our goal is always to win an FCIAC championship,” Wielk said. “We are going to build on each game. I always tell players we want to be playing our best basketball at the end of season. This is year three together and everything is in place. I told these seniors that all these guys (66 at tryouts) is a credit to them. They are doing something right and people are talking about it and wanting to be part of it.”

St. Joseph opens with Norwalk. It visits Warde Friday and McMahon Tuesday.

Wielk said: “I like the team’s morale and chemistry. Everyone is into it and practicing well. We will get after it and compete as we always do.”

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354