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Sports

Girls Basketball: Oswego tabs long-time assistant John Carlson as new head coach

Oswego's Angelina Schlinger (15) shoots a long jumper over Oswego East's Chyna Scott (left) during a girls varsity crosstown basketball game at Oswego High School on Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Steven Buyansky - For Shaw Media
Oswego's Angelina Schlinger (15) shoots a long jumper over Oswego East's Chyna Scott (left) during a girls varsity crosstown basketball game at Oswego High School on Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Steven Buyansky - For Shaw Media

John Carlson has worn many hats in 15 years at Oswego High School.

Carlson, 45, has been a varsity girls basketball assistant. He's coached the sophomores, and the freshmen. He even was varsity softball coach for two years.

Now he's in charge on the court.

Carlson on Monday was announced as Oswego's new varsity girls basketball coach. He takes over for Dave Beebe, who resigned in April after three seasons.

Carlson, who's coached for 19 years total between Oswego and Morris and teaches special education at Oswego High School, is excited about the first-time opportunity.

"I'm thankful for [Oswego Athletic Director] Darren [Howard] and the rest of the administration for giving me the opportunity to try to do something with the program," Carlson said. "I've been there a long time and felt I was ready."

Carlson, a Yorkville resident, originally hails from downstate Moweaqua, 15 miles south of Decatur. He was a sophomore coach under Mike Schnable, and a varsity assistant under Chad Pohlmann and Beebe. This last year he was a coach with the Oswego freshman team.

"We feel that John has been a key part of our program in our strong years under coach Schnable and coach Pohlmann and has remained on staff the last three years as we have been rebuilding," Howard said in an email. "We feel that John has the experience, demeanor and positive attitude to return Panthers' basketball to its previous success."

Oswego advanced to back-to-back sectional finals in 2014 and 2015, but has struggled to recapture that success.

Oswego has gone 15-68 the last three seasons, 3-23 this past year. The Panthers were young, at times starting three sophomores and a freshman, with more sophomores coming off the bench.

Oswego's sophomore team went 18-5 and the freshmen were 16-6.

"We have some kids that take a lot of pride in basketball," Carlson said. "They are a young group, so it will be a learning experience for them.

"We have some kids at the varsity level that can handle the ball, and they can shoot a little bit. I think if we can spread some teams out we have a chance to be successful."

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