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Eagles Prepare for First Jamboree under Tewell

New Bishop LeBlond Boys Basketball Coach Tom Tewell aims to bring stability to the program in 2013-2014.
(ST. JOSEPH) A financial advisor by day, Tom Tewell has had a full plate getting ready for his first go-round as Bishop LeBlond Head Boys Basketball Coach. But you wouldn't know it looking at his calm demeanor. 

"I did not forecast it too well," he said. "It's been more hectic, but I would say a good hectic. I'm a pretty laid back guy externally. Internally I think is a different story."

"He's a lot different than Coach (Greg Kastner)," senior point guard Matthew McCullough said. "Coach Kastner was a little louder, while Coach Tewell's more of a calm guy."

Tuesday's St. Joseph City Basketball Jamboree marks the first taste of some neighborly competition for Tewell, who steps in to try to bring stability to a program that's been riddled with regime changes over the last couple seasons.

When 13-year head coach Steve Vertin was released after the 2011-2012 season, Tim Wenkel was tabbed as his replacement. But the newcomer resigned before coaching a single game following his arrest on a misdemeanor theft charge. That led to Kastner, still acting athletic director, to fill in for the 2012-2013 campaign. 

Now, Tewell takes the reigns after six years as an assistant with the girls program.

"Last year, I do know that (Kastner) stabilized the program," he said. "My goal is to hopefully just continue and help grow the program." 

It's also an adjustment for the players, especially the underclassmen, who are now getting used to another new philosophy coming from another new voice. 

"Every time we get into something, we get a new coach," McCullough said. "It's difficult, but you've just got to deal with it. I think we've dealt with it pretty well." 

"We're getting more freedom this year," fellow senior Pierce Jarrett said. "A lot of these guys, they want to fast break, and we're finally getting to do what we want to do. I think we're pretty excited about that."

With four players gone from last year's team and a pair of losses from this past Saturday's jamboree already in the books, it's no doubt going to continue to be a learning process for both sides. But Tewell says he's welcoming the challenge.

"We're adapting. We'll learn and hopefully be more efficient," he said. 

The boys portion of Tuesday's jamboree gets underway at 6 p.m. from the Civic Arena. The girls begin the evening at 3:30 p.m. 

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