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The quest for 200: Corey Scheel approaches 200 wins

(Photo Credit: Dan Kazinski)

Greendale, WI. (BVM) — Corey Scheel has been the head coach of girls basketball at Martin Luther High School since the 2015-2016 season. Before Coach Scheel’s arrival, Martin Luther had a 71-80 record over the six previous seasons and placed no better than fourth in their conference. 

Since Scheel took over the program as head coach in 2015-2016 the Spartans are 118-33, while finishing no lower than third in conference play, and have won three Metro Classic Conference championships.

Scheel’s love for coaching was developed while playing himself at Milwaukee Lutheran High School. 

“I always looked up to Wayne Jensen as a coaching mentor,” Scheel said. “And that was a big reason I got into coaching. I really enjoyed having him as a coach.”

Scheel got his start in coaching during his junior year of college in 1999-2000, as a freshman coach at Holmen High School. 

Since then,  Scheel has left a trail of success wherever he has coached. Not long after graduating from college, Scheel got a head coaching job at New Berlin West and finished with a record of 61-34 over four seasons with the Vikings. 

After leaving New Berlin West, with a brief stop at Racine St. Catherines, Scheel arrived at Martin Luther and took over a program that had little success. 

Scheel’s first priority was changing the culture of the program, “Setting the tone early. We were not the ‘old ML’ anymore,”  Scheel said. “It was our time to make a name for ourselves in Southeast Wisconsin.” 

Scheel’s Spartans did just that. In his first season at the helm the Spartans placed second in the Metro Classic Conference, the team’s highest finish in more than 7 seasons, with a record of 19-5.

Scheel changed the culture at Martin Luther. Setting high expectations, expecting excellence at all levels of the program, while continuing to build relationships helped to establish Martin Luther as a consistent state championship contender. 

Scheel has gotten buy-in from his players, a difficult thing to do in today’s age of AAU teams, other competitive leagues, and school choice by preaching consistency, success, and accountability.

Scheel coaches differently than most coaches. 

“Defense, Defense, Defense. We preach that defense creates offense,” said Scheel. “I will always be a hard-nosed man-to-man guy, and everything we do will always come back to man concepts.” 

That focus on defense has led Scheel and the Spartan girls to continually boast one of the Metro Classic Conferences better defensive units every year.

Yet, even with an aggressive, attacking defense, the Spartan offense is special in it’s own right.

“I tailor our offense to our personnel,” Scheel said. “Ideally, we want to get the ball up the floor and attack.” 

Not surprisingly, Scheel’s Spartans regularly boast an offense that has the speed and quickness to capitalize on their defensive capabilities. They also can attack inside and shoot the ball from outside with consistency rarely seen at the high school level.

This consistency is established at the lower levels. The Jr. Spartan program, which encompasses fourth-eighth grade, is run the same way as the high school freshman, JV, and Varsity girls teams are run.

 “To get kids ready for the next level,” Coach Scheel said. “They need to be running the same offense and defense.”

“We stress player development (at the lower levels). Getting them ready to compete at the varsity level. We stress running ‘out stuff’ so it can be an easy transition when they get to varsity.”

Next season, Coach Scheel will go about his business as he always has, preaching and stressing Martin Luther standards, including being positive, putting in effort, and showing respect for teammates and coaches.

As Scheel continues coaching, 200 wins is fast approaching, a milestone for any coach and a testament to the continued level of success Coach Scheel has built. 

The focus will always remain on Martin Luther’s standards and goals, however, with 200 wins on the horizon, Scheel will only continue to grow his legacy as a coach.

“It has been quite a fun journey to this point,” said Scheel.

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