Last season, the Gophers finished with 5-19 overall record, 2-12 Mt. Hood League record and #48 OSAA ranking. Gresham graduated 7 seniors but Head Coach Erik Lyslo likes his team and is ready to compete in a tough Mt Hood Conference.
Read my Q&A with Coach Lyslo below:
What are your thoughts on your new league?
Our league doesn't change much. Losing Oregon City and gaining Sandy won't change our conference much at all as far as I'm concerned. I think all of us in the conference are aware of what kind of program Sandy has and what Jason is doing up there. They have a real strong group of players who tasted the post-season last year at the 5A level and I was very impressed with their group after seeing them this summer. As for the rest of the conference, it's always going to be one of the toughest in the state. Barlow and Central Catholic will certainly have the talent to be at the top and then I think you have a group of teams fighting to catch those two teams. The new playoff system will certainly make each game very important with one less automatic qualifier, but our conference will always be one of the toughest you see in the state.
Which players are you leaning on to carry your team this year?
Ethan Abrahamson and Daello Portin-Chapman will be two guys we lean on a lot this year. Ethan averaged 20 points a game for us last year as a sophomore and Daello transferred from Barlow to Gresham in the spring and brings a ton of post-season experience with him. Both players have the ability to be big-time scorers in our conference this year and we will lean on them to help us take another step forward in our program.
One word that defines your team? Why?
Ready! This is year three with my staff and our system in place and I think we are ready for a break-out season where we are competing for the post-season.
What’s your team goal?
I always put the team goals back on our players. It's their team and we've had the conversation about what they want to accomplish. This group is hungry for the post-season and they have made it their goal to get to a post-season game, something Gresham has not done in many years. We know it's an uphill battle to get there, but our guys are working hard to get to that point. As a staff, our goal is to always get the most out of our players and our team. We evaluate ourselves at the end of the season on whether or not we did this from top to bottom. It's been a long road to get our program trending in the right direction and the goal again is to make sure we are making improvements and moving in the right direction.