Published August 12, 2021 in The Burg
By John Ring
GALESBURG - Chad Thompson just finished a whirlwind summer up with the Silver Streaks.
Just after his recent hire, the summer tournament schedule started and Thompson’s Streaks hit the court. They had “contact” days, played in four different tournaments, including Lincoln Normal West and Rock Island-- and a shootout or two including one in Morris that is the longest running in the State.
“We played at a fast pace and did really well,” said Thompson. “We had very good numbers, including a lot of freshmen who were on the court for the first time in two years. We wanted to maximize what we could do with all the groups. For the freshmen, it was the first time in their Streak uniforms. For the sophomores, it was a good camp and learning experience. And for our
juniors and seniors, some of them improved by leaps and bounds.”
“Our varsity guys expanded their games,” continued the Streaks coach “and played different positions. Players who were considered just ‘defensive players’ scored. They took shots and scored points. “
But the best thing is that Chad touched upon something that Mike Miller said way back in 1999.
“The thing is that they played with intensity,” said Coach Thompson. “They played hard. We didn’t have our corps players all the time but it didn’t matter because you could see this team come together.”
Thompson then spoke about the two most important things that he saw over the course of the summer. “First, the leadership our seniors brought to this team was incredible. Jeremiah
Babers was what a senior point guard should be. Alex Egipciaco has transitioned into more of a playmaker. The energy of Dre Egipciaco was incredible. Second was the inside play of Carl Dortch and Koen Derry. This is a fun group to be around.”
“Our staff, the goal we have is to give these kids the very best high school experience we can give them, every minute of every game, every practice and every time we’re on the road.”
Thompson’s assistant coaching team is about finished. Among those with him this season will be Mark Hardin, Tom Hawkins, Garret Rau, Eric Thompson and Mark Hardin Jr.
The Streaks schedule for the upcoming season is daunting, a fact that Thompson is certainly cognizant of. “[Athletic Director] Mr. [Eric] Mathews did a great job in setting up our schedule. Look, our conference is always tough. The non-conference games are tough too, with teams like Richwoods, Morton and Manual.”
There’s no doubt that Silver Streak history will turn a chapter in November. There’s a new coach and new seniors but traditions that go back to the Glory Days of John Thiel.
And while Thiel’s powerhouse teams played a tough schedule (Proviso East, Chicago schools, Pekin) there was also an occasional “break” against Canton or Kewanee.
It could be an interesting mix.