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New Varsity Boys’ Basketball Coach at Alpena High School

The new Alpena varsity basketball coach is making a fast break into the summer with his new team. After a long thirty-year career as Alpena High School’s basketball coach, John Pintar decided to retire from the Wildcats program. Now there is a new and fresh face, Evan Neff, taking the helm. “Yeah, I just wrapped up my playing career at Concordia University in Ann Arbor. I played four years there and then I played my high school basketball at Kingston High School. I’ve gotten into coaching and training the past couple of years, and now I’m transitioning into high school level coaching,” commented Neff. With Family ties in Alcona County coach Neff found himself looking local for a coaching position. “My dad’s running a grocery store in Lincoln, so I just heard about the job opening. I was looking for teaching and coaching jobs and went through the interview process and now I’m here,” he said.

Coach Neff has jumped into his summer program with enthusiasm, “Yeah, there’s a lot of exciting things about the team for this upcoming year. The program as a whole, I think we’re going to have size, we’re also going to be pretty young, and we had a youth camp and then a high school camp in the afternoons.  Then we had a week of a couple practices and then these past couple of days we were in Gaylord for a shoot-out, ended up playing eight games there, won six of them, and we learned a lot about our team,” Neff added. He understands that the key to building a good team lies in building the good character of each individual player. “I think first and foremost, we just want to establish a culture of kids that play really hard in practice every day. Then every time you come out to see them at a game, you know they’re going to play hard and they’re going to compete against whoever they’re going up against. We have a lot of size; we’re going to look to get it inside, but then we also have a lot of shooting. So inside-out, probably run a lot of four out stuff and just kind of mix things up on defense, try and catch teams off guard and play a little bit fast, but also play smart at the same time. So, I think it’ll be an exciting brand of basketball,” Neff said.