BEVERLY - Eric Henniger has been named the new Fort Frye boys' basketball head coach.
Henniger is replacing long time head coach Dan Liedtke. Liedtke coached the Cadets for 27 years, turning Fort Frye basketball into a dominant Division III program. He will remain the head coach for the girls basketball team.
"I'm definitely filling big shoes," Henniger said. "(Liedtke's) been there 27 years. He turned it into a great program. People have always known what to expect from Fort Frye basketball."
Henniger is very familiar with the tradition that Fort Frye basketball brings. He played for the Cadets from 1999-01, and was on the '99 team that made the "Final Four." He was also an assistant coach under Liedtke last season, his only year of coaching experience.
"It's going to be a lot like we had," Henniger said of his coaching style. "What we've had here has worked really well. With my lack of experience, I really don't plan on changing anything."
Liedtke, who coached Henniger in his playing days, had good things to say about him as a player and high hopes for him as a coach.
"He's outstanding," Liedtke said. "He was a good team player, and he gets everyone else going. He was one of my really good players. He worked at the game and loved the game."
"I feel really good about this hire," Liedtke continued.
"He fits like a glove at Fort Frye. He was my assistant last year. You can tell he really wants to coach and do the job well."
Henniger is excited and thinks the team can be successful in 2012-13.
"The players have been doing shootouts and working hard," Henniger said. "We've got a core group of eight guys who will get the most playing time on varsity. They all play hard. It should be a good first year."
Four of those players include seniors Shon Smith and Caden Brooker, and juniors Jordan Anderson and Chandler Lang.
The Cadets are coming off a season where they finished 17-5 and made the Division III district semifinals, losing to Garaway 51-42.