Sports

Kosloski’s one-year run as coach ends at WIAA regionals

Above The Fold Media | For the Leader
Rick Kosloski
SIREN – As it turns out, it would have been impossible for Rick Kosloski.
Even if the Siren boys basketball team had reached sectional competition and earned a first-round win, the recent cancelation of WIAA state finals would have prevented the interim coach from leading the Dragons to Madison anyway.
But’ officially, Kosloski’s one-year run as coach was ended with a 59-49 loss to South Shore in regional competition on Tuesday, March 3. That capped his brief and “challenging” tenure, as he expects Jon Ruud to return as coach for the 2020-2021 season. And, the interim coach said the returning coach helped with the challenges he faced.
“I thank Jon Ruud for staying in touch throughout the year,” Kosloski said. “He offered guidance and I tried to help keep this year’s team intact with what he was doing, while trying to implement my own stuff.”
The Dragons finished with a 6-16 overall record and it started with a difficult stretch. They lost their first six games before getting a win on Dec. 27, in their last game of 2019, over Prairie Farm. Kosloski said the team was adapting to a different defensive philosophy and strategy though those early games, which may have been evident.
“We weren’t a man-to-man defense and hadn’t been in several years,” he said. “But this year, we did that all year.”
Another apparent change to the team during the preseason and early in the season were the regular meetings held at the start of each practice. Kosloski said this was partially to cover the day’s objectives and also to get regular updates. Since he doesn’t teach or work at the school prior to practice, Kosloski got his daily news from the players.
“I wanted to know if anything going on, in or away from school, that I should know about,” he said. “I’m a coach only, so I don’t work with the school during the day and I wanted to stay up to date on everyone.”
Kosloski also was adjusting to a quicker game pace, transitioning from coaching staff for girls basketball to calling the shots for varsity boys basketball. While he said the boys game was quicker, the season’s second win wasn’t as expedient.
After a three-game skid to start 2020, Siren earned its first back-to-back wins of the season. The Dragons won home games against Frederic and Washburn, then only a loss to eventual Lakeland West champ Unity interrupted a five-game streak.
Siren closed January with Glenwood City and Grantsburg after its loss to the Eagles, though a five-game skid preceded the season’s final win, over Clayton. Kosloski said he quickly identified a potential error he made that possibly could have benefited the Dragons, if identified.
“One thing we got away from, which could have hurt us at the end, was conditioning,” he said. “We didn’t have enough conditioning late and maybe I’m a little too soft on that.
“And I learned it’s difficult to keep practices from being redundant, but tried to look for things that were new and maybe drew excitement to try keeping their interest, so it didn’t become so boring.”
An added bonus for Kosloski was the opportunity to coach his nephew Nathan, a senior, and son Brady, a junior, in their final season together on the Siren roster.
“I thank the school for extending the opportunity and the staff that agreed to help,” he said. “It was a new experience and I think we’ve worked to try changing the culture of basketball, to some degree, in Siren.”


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