Same team, new challenges

One Coach takes the reins of a struggling team

The conductor, Mark Core, new East High Basketball Coach, leading his team, the Pella Dutch, in the 2015 State Tournament. Core, who is taking over , and he is hoping to achieve a similar level of success; but not without some changes first. “We need to make sure we define success properly,” Core said.

Pella Chronicle

The conductor, Mark Core, new East High Basketball Coach, leading his team, the Pella Dutch, in the 2015 State Tournament. Core, who is taking over , and he is hoping to achieve a similar level of success; but not without some changes first. “We need to make sure we define success properly,” Core said.

Caleb Cook, Staffer

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The East High Boys Basketball team has won 11 percent of its games since 2008, going 21-175. They have not played a winning season of basketball since 2006. Enter new Head Coach Mark Core, former Pella High School Coach, who went 172-43, winning 80 percent of his games since 2008.
“It was just time to move on,” Coach Mark Core said. “There’s a lot of opportunity to do good here,”
Coach Core plans on employing his ‘4 pillar’ coaching strategy, which led his team to long lasting success during his time with Pella.
“Play hard, communicate effectively, champions mind-set, team attitude, those are the things that are important to me,” he said.
Getting a coach with such a rich resume doesn’t happen very often, and no one knows that better than East Athletic Director Lyle Fedders.
“ I just think it’s a great hire,” Fedders said. “He has a proven track record of building winning programs.”
Players, as anticipated, are also excited about the cultural shift brought on by Coach Core.
“He really seems to care about us, and how we are as people, not just on the court, and just how we’re doing in our personal life before anything,” Varsity Basketball Player Taryn Anderson said.
Some students, however, are not so certain in the future of the program, but are happy to see a change in staff.
“Coach alone, He can only do so much,” Junior Michael Mila said. “But I’m always hopeful for improvement, all that matters right now is improvement,”.
Coach Core has wasted no time getting started, and the results are showing on and off the court.
“In less than a week, I was able to get here and get started with the guys,” Core said. “I do think that progress is being made.”
Although excited about the future, Core also realizes that cultural change and on-court success will not come easily.
“I think it’s gonna be very hard. I think we’ve got a long way to go, I don’t think it’s gonna happen any time soon, I think it’s gonna be a day-to-day process of improvement and change,” Core said.
Core is not only the Head Basketball Coach; he’s also an at-risk coordinator here at East. But players, there’s no need to worry; Core will give you space and breathing room.
“I try not to be like… Gotcha! I’d rather just be more of a resource and a helper,” Core said. “It might be a good fit.”
Despite all of the challenges that lie on the road to success, Coach Core has a hope- and a plan- for the bright future of East Basketball.
“I’d like to think that we could compete with anybody in Class 4A,” Core said, “The CIML is a tough conference, so if we can compete in the CIML than I feel like we can compete on the state level.”
The new-look Scarlets have their first game of the season on Tuesday, November 28, a game which will likely set the tone for the future.

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