As the seconds ticked off the clock and the Southern Boone Eagles boys basketball team began celebrating their district championship win last March, head coach Andy Jahnsen began making his way to the far end of the bench at Blair Oaks High School.

As the horn sounded and players stormed the court, Jahnsen went to his wife, Jessica, for a quick kiss and a big hug. It was a symbolic “thank you” for what he calls “the toughest job in the world.”

Jahnsen’s second district title last spring and SoBoCo’s 50-7 record the past two season confirmed a few things: His belief in a style of basketball – which sometimes looks like chaos, but has worked for his speedy, but under-sized Eagles; His late father’s belief in his son’s ability to be a winning coach; And the evolution of coach Andy Jahnsen.

Eagles boys basketball assistant coach Pat Lacy tells the story about the clinic he, coach Jahnsen and freshman coach Mike Wainscott attended after the Eagles’ 4-win season in the 2013-14 season.

“That clinic changed everything,” Lacy says of the overall strategy for Eagles basketball. “That clinic in St. Louis convinced us that the dribble drive motion offense – and making our kids better players was what would work at Southern Boone.”

Jahnsen, who had seen only one or two seasons in which his Eagles matched up physically with taller, bigger teams in Class 3 basketball, was ready for a change in coaching philosophy.

“It changed everything,” Jahnsen says. “The biggest thing for us is player development and how we consistently do 40 minutes of ball work, foot work, agility and so on with kids. We work on situational things individually.”

Former SoBoCo Eagles player Hayden Salmons, also an assistant in the soccer program, is working this year with Jahnsen on the basketball court.

“He graduated six years ago and is now coaching with us and last week he commented, ‘You do things so differently now.'”

~ Read the rest of the story in today’s Journal ~

By Bruce Wallace