The Barstow boys basketball team has a new coach and he’s looking to bring some energy to a program that has struggled in recent seasons.

Tony Wiggins, a history and geography teacher, takes over as head coach.

“The problem in the past has been the heart and the mind and the determination,” said Wiggins. “The talent is here. Some people have that saying ‘Barstow happens,’ you know?

Wiggins hopes that saying takes on a new meaning as he takes the helm of a team that finished fourth in the Desert Sky League with a 5-7 record last season. Barstow returns a pair of all-DSL players in Christian Taylor (sophomore) and Evander Burns (junior) and an honorable mention in Devin Green (junior).

Taylor averaged 12.1 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, while Burns averaged 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists a contest. Green averaged 4.0 points and 3.1 assists a game.

“We have talented individuals,” said Wiggins.

There are four seniors on the Barstow squad along with six juniors and one sophomore. Barstow opens its season in the Beaumont Tournament on Nov. 28. DSL play starts on Dec. 5 at home against Silverado. The Hawks beat Barstow in all three games last season.

“We’re not very big so we’re going to have to keep it up tempo and run and gun it,” said Wiggins. “We’re the unknown in the DSL. We know what Adelanto and Silverado are going to bring and Victor Valley is athletic and one of these days Granite Hills is going to rise up, so Barstow is kind of the unknown.”

The DSL was very balanced last season as Victor Valley, Silverado and Adelanto were all in the title hunt throughout the season. If Barstow’s young talent can come together quickly, this season could be even more wild. That’s what Wiggins is hoping for, anyway.

Jacob Sundstrom can be reached at 760-951-6274 and You can follow him on Twitter @DPSundstrom.