New Tigers Coach Inherits a Squad Looking to Win Division Title
PISCATAWAY, NJ–After winning the GMC Gold Division and falling short of a GMCT Elite Eight berth in 2014, Timothy Christian went through a rebuilding phase over the past two years. Then, during the off-season, long time head coach and athletic director, Chris Hobbs stepped down to take a similar position at King’s Christian in Florida.
With its core nucleus intact, Timothy Christian played at the Bound Brook Summer League and Monroe Sports Center Fall League during the summer and fall, and played well against much bigger schools. The Tigers impressed in defeat in the opening round of the Bound Brook Summer League playoffs against Hunterdon Center. Then, scored a nice win over Jackson Memorial at MSC.
During this off-season, Fran Decker took over as head coach of the Timothy Christian boys basketball program. Decker, who is the older brother of Dan “Triple” Decker, who starred at now Clarks Summit University in both men’s basketball and tennis, and Josh Decker, who is currently playing hoops at Cairn University in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, graduated from TCS in 2009 after playing two seasons of varsity hoops under Hobbs.
The elder Decker played at Timothy Christian at a time when the Tigers were not in the Greater Middlesex Conference. At the time, TCS played in the Patriot Conference with the likes of current Skyland Conference members, Gill St. Bernards and Rutgers Prep as well as another current GMC member, Wardlaw. Both Wardlaw and Timothy Christian joined the GMC for the 2010-11 year.
After graduating Timothy Christian, Decker attended and played hoops at Houghton College in New York for three years. Houghton is a member of the Empire 8 Conference with the likes of Ithaca College, Utica, and Stevens Tech, which all have had or currently have former GMC standouts on their squads. Decker, who joined the TCS staff as a varsity assistant last year before taking over the head coaching job this summer.
Decker inherits a talented and experienced squad for the 2016-17 season. Robert Saydee leads a group that also consists of Will Clemmons, Louis Roche, A.J. Myha, Lucas Page, Josh Alcoriza, and GMC Hoops Most Improved Player in 2015-16, Pierce Kokosinski. Two seasons ago, this group took its lumps with a record of 3-23 including a 2-14 mark in the GMC Gold Division. Last year, the Tigers made some progress with a final overall record of 8-19 including a 6-10 mark in divisional play.
The team will be looking to contend for the GMC Gold with a Perth Amboy Tech squad that has at least had a share of the division title in each of the last two years, and has four of its five starters from last year returning. TCS opens its season against Piscataway Tech at home on December 16th, and then hosts new Blue Division member, South River on December 17th. The Tigers will again play in the Eastern Christian Holiday Tournament in North Haledon on December 27, 28, and 29.