New Coach and Future Stars


The love for the sport doesn’t begin at the high school level, but grows over the course of an athlete’s life. The Thomas Jefferson Middle School boys’ basketball team is adapting to a new coach, Lodi High School’s own Mr.Wilson. The team’s former coach, Mr. Shabiliski, retired and Mr.Wilson took on the new opportunity. The team was having a slow start to the season, but now they are growing together as new teammates. The Lodi Rampage interviewed Coach Wilson to reflect on his journey through his first season as a coach at TJMS.

What made you want to become a coach ? 

I am a person who loves the game of basketball and being able to bring the knowledge of basketball to the team is top priority. I played for TJMS and Lodi High School when I was growing up, so being able to coach under the program that I once played for is a true honor for me.

What was your first impression of the new team ?

Photo taken by Ms. Baldino

First impression of the team was that they were ready to play and ready to learn. The 15 players I chose, each had certain technique or skills that would help the team throughout the year.

How did the team adapt to having a new coach ? 

The team was able to adapt to my new coaching style and methods. The team understands that win or lose, we need to go out and be ready to battle at every single practice and at every game.

What has changed over the course of the season ?

The season has been off to a rocky start, but the team has improved. They show passion and heart every day when they come practice and I appreciate that.

What’s your overall goal for the rest of the season ?

The overall goal for the rest of season is for us to get better as a team. We come in every day to learn and get better than what we were the day before.  I see a bright future for the program they just have to be dedicated and determine to be better. 

Who do you think will excel next year in high school?

While they all have great potential and the ability to excel in high school, our point guard, John Purisma, has lead the team through their victories. He is the engine of the offense and plays with a big heart. He brings the best out of his teammates and has a bright future.

The Lodi Rampage wishes the best of luck to the TJMS boys’ team and Coach Wilson on the rest of the season. The boys next game is away at Hawthorne High School on Monday, Feb. 6. Please come out and support them!