Gildea excited for season, as new coaches and players join the Crusaders

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By Ray Hamill — New St. Bernard’s boys basketball head coach Issac Gildea has named two coaches to round out his staff for the upcoming season, with Joe Claus and Carter Johnson joining the program.

Both Claus and Johnson will be familiar to local fans of the game, and Gildea says he is looking forward to the opportunity of working with the two of them.

“We’re excited to have them,” Gildea said. “Joe’s a great coach who pays attention to detail, and he loves the game. His passion for the game is amazing.”

Claus’ two sons, Justin and Zac, are both a part of the College of the Redwoods men’s program, the former an assistant coach and the latter a standout player.

Johnson, meanwhile, is a 2015 St. Bernard’s graduate who went on to play at Cal State Monterrey Bay.

“It’s great to have somebody younger to connect with the players,” Gildea said of Johnson. “He gets along with the kids and he really can be that bridge for me. As well as being a point guard who knows the game.”

The Crusaders graduated 10 seniors from last year’s Little Four winning team, but will have a core group of talented players back, as well as some new faces expected to have an immediate impact when the season finally gets under way.

In addition to returning seniors Remy Campbell, Bode Joyner and Jake Fairfield, sophomore Owen Shanahan also saw substantial minutes last season.

All of them bring plenty of height to the court.

“There’s a whole bunch of great players we’ve got,” said Gildea, who is in his first year with the team after taking over this past spring from long-time head coach Steve Thrap. “I’m excited to be coaching them.”

Freshman Seth Dyer also joins the team this year and is expected to play an immediate role.

“He’s a beautiful player who works extremely hard,” Gildea said of the newcomer. “He’s a really talented kid.”

Another newcomer is senior transfer Rizalito Nunez, a former Eureka Logger who has moved back to the area after spending the past two years in Stockton.

“He’s just a phenomenal player at the point guard position,” Gildea said of Nunez.

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