Ebersole takes over as Williamsburg’s coach

When the first jump ball of the 2013-2014 high school girls basketball season is contested, Jeremy Ebersole will be on the Williamsburg bench as a varsity head coach for the first time.

His predecessor, Don Appleman, coached in more than 700 games and won 474 of them.

“I definitely have some big shoes to fill,” Ebersole said. “I’ve known Coach Appleman since I was going to Central’s basketball camp as a kid. My father played for him. I played for Reggie Nevins, who played for him, but I’m not as nervous as people might think.

“He’ll be there, and he said if I need help, I can give him a holler.”

Appleman is happy to see Ebersole get an opportunity.

“I have known him for years. I coached his father, Sam Ebersole, at Central, and he was a great person to coach,” Appleman said. “Jeremy had a great attitude as the boys junior varsity coach at Williamsburg. I feel very confident he’ll do well.”

Appleman, 69, said he’d be cautious about how involved he was with the girls team, despite being the assistant athletic director.

“It’s one of those things you have to be careful with,” Appleman said. “It has to be his program, but I will be there to help only if he asks for it. No one wants him to be more successful than I would.”

Ebersole sold himself to Williamsburg athletic director Debbie Appleman during his interview.

“He’s looking forward to trying to get back that winning tradition at Williamsburg,” Debbie Appleman said. “He’s ready to put the time in. He’s ready to go. His enthusiasm was contagious. I was getting excited too, just listening to him in the interview.”

Ebersole, 33, is a 1997 Central High School graduate and was an assistant coach under Williamsburg boys coach Mike Farrell from 2005-2012. Ebersole is married with three children.

“I think Jeremy will do well. He likes to get in to practice and work on people to get them better,” Farrell said. “It will be a little bit of a change from coaching girls to boys, but he’s familiar with the school and the kids and he should do a good job.

“He has an ability to build a good solid base of communication with the kids and can teach them the fundamentals of basketball.”

Ebersole will inherit a Lady Pirate team that went 10-13 a season ago and lost, 39-31, to United in the first round of the District 6 Class A playoffs.

“I have not got a chance to talk to my players,” Ebersole said. “I haven’t been the coach for 24 hours yet, and being down there I still don’t really know any of the girls. I stuck to the boys side when I coached there.”

Ebersole, who lives in Roaring Spring and is a carpenter for Mitch Grace Construction, took last season off from coaching at the varsity level to coach his son in a fifth grade elementary basketball league but realized he missed coaching at the high school level.

“I had told them the last three or four seasons I really felt like I was ready to take over a program,” Ebersole said. “When Coach Appleman resigned, I thought it was a perfect opportunity.”

Five of the 11 girls who saw action in Williamsburg’s playoff game last season were underclassmen, and Ebersole is confident the team can have a solid year.

“I was talking to the junior high coach who coached these girls who are going to be seniors,” Ebersole said. “They went 13-3 in junior high, not that they will have that winning percentage in high school, but it shows there is talent there, and if the girls buy into the system, I think we can be very competitive.”

Williamsburg won 10 games a year ago despite no player averaging more than six points a game with strong defense. Ebersole plans on that continuing.

“My biggest thing will be fundamentals and defense,” Ebersole said. “I’ve talked to people outside the game, and they think fundamentals are already there in high school, but it really isn’t. I’m looking to get the elementary program going and start really getting them into a fundamental program.”