Wilmot’s Jerod Boyd returns to his former school as the head girls basketball coach, which boasts letter-winners Haley Lamberson (left) and Riley Alexander (Jason Arndt/The Report).

New coach Boyd takes the Wilmot reigns

By Jason Arndt

Although Jerod Boyd enters his first season as girls basketball coach of Wilmot Union High School, he is not exactly starting from scratch, noting a team of returners who showcased an uptempo offensive scheme last season.

Boyd, who replaces Keiya Square, believes the uptempo offense could become faster this season.

“A lot of his principles are ingrained in these kids and they do a good job utilizing them,” said Boyd, whose team finished 16-8 overall last year, when the placed second in Southern Lakes Conference play at 11-3.

“Our principles are very similar defensively, offensively we will play a little faster and try to score more in the secondary break.”

Like last year under Square, Boyd hopes to see the Panthers’ defense force turnovers, and on offense, he expects the team to show efficient pass distribution.

Junior point guard Haley Lamberson, who had 39 steals along with 48 assists last season, will likely become a focal point of both of these efforts.

“Lamberson will be our speed and heart of our defense,” Boyd said. “All of our returning guards bring a lot of speed and they have developed as shooters as well which plays perfectly into what we will be doing offensively and defensively.”

Along with the 5-foot-2 Lamberson, the other two returners are 5-5 junior shooting guard Riley Alexander and 5-2 sophomore perimeter threat Julia Hickey.

The three guards look to the fill the voids left by 2017 graduates Devin Coleman, Southern Lakes Conference honorable mention, and McKenna Stanek, who was on the second team.

As a sophomore, Alexander chipped in 29 assists and had 42 steals for the Panthers.

“Julia Hickey and Riley Alexander will provide that speed and ability to get up the floor quickly,” said Boyd, who reiterates scoring opportunities in transition.

As the trio of guards solidify the backcourt, the Panthers boast second team all-Southern Lakes Conference Morgan Zenon, a 5-11 senior forward.

Through 23 games last season, Zenon led the Panthers in blocks with 29, and averaged 8.7 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game.

Gone to graduation, however, is 5-11 Delaney Sjong, who led the Panthers in points and rebounds her senior season.

To offset the loss, Boyd looks to 5-10 Ashley Lesko and 5-11 Becca Bell, both seniors.

Other returners are Karina Leber (6-3 sophomore), Karoline Klahs (5-6 junior), Rachel Jenkins (5-9 senior) and late season call-ups Kenzi Ketterhagen (5-2 sophomore), Aryana Rita (5-6 junior) and Delaney Brown (5-7 sophomore).

Newcomers to the team are Keegan Destree (5-6 junior) and Kiya Thompson (5-9 junior).

Coaches come home
Boyd, who also serves as a Wilmot special education teacher, graduated from the school in 2003. He then received a degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Since then, Boyd worked as a special education teacher at Burlington Area School District, and served as head girls basketball coach at Westosha Central for three seasons followed by one year with Burlington Catholic Central.

Boyd, meanwhile, is not the only coach making a return to Wilmot.

Sarah Vozel, a 2013 Wilmot graduate and three-time Southern Lakes Conference first team honoree, is assisting Boyd on the bench.

After Vozel’s senior season at Wilmot, where she became a Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All-Star, she attended Ashford University in Iowa and St. Xavier University in Chicago.

Overall, between both schools, Vozel eclipsed 1,000 points.

Vozel’s St. Xavier team, which had a 34-3 record last season, advanced to the NAIA Division II national championship game.


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