May 3, 2012

Hunziker Leaving SCR-I to Take Head Coaching Job at Boonville

Coach Jaryt Hunziker will be pacing the sidelines in Boonville next year after he announced his resignation last week as SCR-I Lady Tigers head coach to take a similar post at the central Missouri school.

After racking up an impressive 63% winning percentage after four years at the helm of the Socltand County varsity girls basketball program, Coach Jaryt Hunziker recently resigned his post to take a similar job at Boonville.

"The girls accomplished quite a bit over the four years that I was here," Hunziker stated. "I'm so proud of them for their hard work and dedication."

During that time frame, SCR-I was 67-39 with one district title, back in 2010-11. Hunziker's Lady Tigers played in the district title game, three of his four seasons, and also dominated on the local tournament circuit, taking the title at the Novinger Tourney all four years, while playing for the title of the North Shelby bracket in three of those four years.

The district title season was one of high hopes for the Lady Tigers. But Hunziker lost two starters late in the year to season-ending knee injuries.

"You always are going to look back and wonder a bit about what if," Hunziker said. "But Megan Creek, Hailey Dial, and Courtney Jackson really stepped up their game and helped us out tremendously. They were the perfect role players to have that season. I feel that really played a huge part in the success we had this year with some of the younger girls getting playing time and experience the year before."

The coach's district title team was built around defense, a facet of the game that became Hunziker's calling card.

"When I first started out coaching I was all about scoring and offense," Hunziker said. "But over the years I realized that defense is what wins you championships. When I came back to Scotland County I did my best to instill that in the girls and they bought into it 100%. They were always more worried about how many points they could hold the opponents to and not how many they would score. They knew that your offense comes and goes every night but your defense can always be consistent. Not every player can knock down shots but they can all hustle and do their part on defense."

But the W's in the victory column were not the only way the coach measured his teams' success.

"I hope I impacted every girl that I coached in some way," the coach stated. "I believe that they leave the program knowing why I pushed them to do their best every drill at practice and every possession during a game. I hope they can apply some of the life lessons they learned to their own lives as adults. The lifelong relationships that were built over the last four years is what I will miss more than anything else. I love all my players more than they know and I will always be their coach for life."

Scotland County went 16-10 in Hunziker's final season at the helm, getting bounced from the district tourney in the semi-finals, by another former SCR-I coach Andrea Dabney, and eventual district champs, Milan.

When the SCR-I school board name's Hunziker's replacement, the former coach notes the new leader will have a talented squad returning.

"The cupboard was not left bare at all," said Hunziker. "The new coach will have many pieces back that will work hard on and off the court. I know that the Lady Tigers program in the future will want to keep the tradition going. I expect big things for years to come."

The same can be said of the coach, who plans on keeping the winning tradition moving forward, despite making the jump from a smaller Class 2 school, to a much larger Class 3 program.

"Location was a big part of the decision," said Hunziker when asked about choosing the bigger school. "My family has always wanted to move closer to the Columbia area due to what it can provide for us. Boonville has always had great tradition on the girl's side so I wasn't going to leave Scotland County for just any school. I have always wanted to challenge myself by moving up a Class or two and playing bigger more competitive schools. I know that the more competitive the schedule is the more I will grow and develop as a coach."

Boonville plays a Class 4 schedule but in 2012-13 will drop down to Class 3 for the next two years in the MSHSAA district assignments.

Hunziker will step into a similar position as when he returned to SCR-I, taking over a very young team. His Boonville team went 10-15 last year, but graduated just one senior, and with just one junior on the roster.

"They played a lot of freshmen and sophomores this past season," Hunziker said. "And they lost their point guard in January to an injury that set them back a bit. The future looks really bright. I definitely feel that we will contend for a NCMC Conference title and district title in the near future."

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