Just four games into his high school coaching career at the boys’ varsity level, Joel Whymer is still as “super excited” as the day he took the job at Marine City High School.
“I love coming to work everyday,” Whymer said. “We have a great group of kids that are coachable and work hard. They listen and they’re competitive kids that want to win. They make my job easy.”
The Port Huron Northern graduate took over as head coach of the Mariners back in September when Rob Fulgenzi stepped down from the position after three years.
It did not take long for the Mariners to warm up to their new coach.
“I would give him an A-plus right now,” senior guard Sam Honaker said. “I’ve played varsity here all four years and since this year, our tempo has picked up, our intensity has been picked up. Everything has picked up. Especially on the defensive end.”
“I’m excited to play under him,” senior D.J. Burns said. “We needed to turn our program around. There’s more energy in practice and in games. It’s a lot more fun playing under him.”
“When we heard he was coming in, we knew it was going to be fun,” junior guard Pete Patsalis said. “He’s bringing in some college experience and basketball knowledge.”
Whymer took over at MCHS after a successful playing career at Grand Valley State University. He then spent two years coaching in the Grand Rapids Storm AAU program and was the coach of the St. Clair junior varsity boys’ basketball team last year.
“I haven’t had much high school experience, but I had one year under (Saint Clair Coach) Shawn Sharrow and I learned so much from him,” Whymer said. “Even though I am 28-years-old, I felt ready.”
Marine City is 2-2 heading into today’s meeting with Lakeview. The Mariners’ have won their last two after games and begin play in the Macomb Area Conference’s Silver Division at 6:30 p.m. this evening.
“(We’re going to) keep getting better defensively,” Whymer said. “(We want to) to keep progressing as team and give ourselves a chance to win the MAC Silver. If we do that and take care of business at home, we’ll be right in the thick of things.”
Lakeview comes into tonight’s game with a record of 5-0 and already have a couple of conference wins under their belt.
It’s been three weeks since the Mariners last played a game.
“We anticipate that we’re going to have more energy than Lakeview and we’re need to play harder than them,” Patsalis said. “We know they’re a good opponent and we scouted them well on film. It just comes down to who has more energy and who wants the game more.”