New SHS basketball coach looks forward to season


Coach Gale Smith prepares to take on the head coaching position of the Broncs basketball team.

With Sheridan’s last basketball state championship in 2003, the team is hoping to once again play for a state championship. This year, Sheridan High School will have the great opportunity of starting a new basketball era. The new head basketball coach, Gale Smith, is planning on making a lot of changes to the way the Sheridan Broncs will play basketball.

Smith grew up in Parkman, Wyoming and attended Tongue River High School, joining the basketball program. After high school, Smith went on to attend the University of Wyoming to earn a degree in teaching. “I saw how teachers affected me for the better, and I wanted to have a that same positive effect on my students,” said Smith. Along with teaching, Smith also wanted to coach, “I always enjoyed coaching because I loved to see the kids improve, and them getting excited to see that improvement on a daily basis.” He always wanted to stay close to his hometown, so it worked out perfectly that a coaching job opened up at Sheridan Junior High School. He has coached a variety of sports such as track, football, and basketball.

The past few years though, Smith has been the sophomore coach at Sheridan High School. “It was a good step up from just coaching Junior High,” Smith said. This past year, however, he was hired as the new head basketball coach following the resignation of previous head basketball coach Mike Ibach. Senior Anthony Newlon said,”It’ll be interesting playing for him for a second year since I had him as a sophomore coach also, but I’m excited.” With the hiring of Smith, new assistant coaches have also been hired. Jeff Martini is the new JV coach, Cody Sinclair is the new Sophomore coach, and Levi Duca is the assistant to Sinclair.

Changes in the coaching staff also brings a lot of changes to the system. Smith is looking to bring an entire different style of basketball to the team this year. Smith said, “I intend to bring a fast-paced style of play to the team this year.” He also explained that his team will be more up-tempo and will pressure teams full court for most of the game. Also, the defensive end of the team will have to improve by having more intensity, more aggressiveness, and outworking all other opponents.

The team this year has very little varsity experience because of the predominance of seniors on the varsity squad last year. “We have a brand new team this year with very little experience compared to every other team in the state,” Smith said. He has been approached by a lot of people asking him if this will be another rebuilding year. “This will definitely not be a rebuilding year, but a reloading year,” Smith said. “The only thing getting in our way is our lack of experience.”

Sheridan hasn’t won a basketball state championship since 2003. One of Smith’s biggest goals is to make it to the state tournament and play well. Smith said,”My main goal is to qualify for the state tournament, and if the dice roll right, anyone can win the state title.”

So with many challenges facing the team this year, Smith is very confident about his team. “We have great team chemistry from last year,” Smith said. “The JV team played 20 games together last year, and there’s no doubt they can play as a team.” With many obstacles in his way, Smith looks forward to starting his career on a good note as his first year as Sheridan’s head basketball coach.