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Former star player takes over as Wildcats’ new head coach

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(Staff photo by Erica Benson)
West Chicago's Mike Zajac passes the ball during a drill at practice Wednesday November 7, 2012.

At a glanceCOACH Bill Recchia2011-12 RECORD 6-12 (0-14 in DuPage Valley Conference)FIRST GAME Nov. 19 Wildcat Turkey ClassicTOP PLAYERS John Konchar    jr.    G/F Jimmy Rizzo    sr.    G

1,461 Points scored by new head coach Bill Recchia when he played at West Chicago from 1979-63, which is tops in program history

WHAT TO WATCH A 1983 graduate of West Chicago, Bill Recchia returns to his alma mater to take over a Wildcats program that has fallen on hard times since a 22-win campaign in 2004-05.

And despite losing 12 seniors to graduation, the new head coach is looking to build that foundation for future success.

“I’m so excited and extremely honored to be in this position,” Recchia said. “I plan on getting West Chicago basketball to mean something. I want that excitement and I want the numbers to increase. I want the program to build from the ground floor up.”

This year’s group will be inexperienced, with four seniors and 11 juniors on the roster. But that doesn’t mean the Wildcats won’t be able to compete.

“We have guys who will put it all out on the floor,” the coach said. “They are working hard right now and learning a lot of new stuff and grasping it. Hopefully what we are trying to accomplish at practice will play out in game situations and we will see progress at that level.”

West Chicago does return two players with experience in junior John Konchar and senior Jimmy Rizzo. The rest of the playing rotation has yet to shake out.

“I hope they all continue to compete to try to get on the floor,” Recchia said. “That helps if every single player has that desire. We want to get out there and compete and compete at a high level and we are looking for everybody on the floor to contribute.”

Since scoring production is a question mark, executing on the other side of the court becomes that much more important.

“Obviously, defense is a consistent,” Recchia said. “Any night, you can be off shooting but every night when you go out there, you can play the same defense. Every night we should come out and play a solid defensive ball game.”

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