Knights will play with finesse
Silver Knight basketball, version 2011, will be all about a fast paced game played with finesse and determination, the version both the team and the coaches hope fans will come out and support.
As is usual, the Knights will face a schedule that will be grueling at times with teams such as Magnolia, Ravenswood and Weir, and will take part in the Coal Classic tournament at Scott as well as the Region I Classic in New Martinsville. "We've got a decently tough schedule, but it's one that we should be able to handle,"said head coach J.C. Kimble.
"We're looking to have more wins in our first five games than we did in our entire season last year, which was three."
"We're going to battle. We're not going to go down easy. The boys have been working hard and have shown that they're ready to win, and that's what we're looking for."
Three go-to players were lost to graduation in the Spring, Zach Minger, Corey Lowe and Boone Kehrer and the loss will and can be felt on the team level. "Without a doubt we'll miss those guys on the court, but we have to move on, just as they did. The difference in this years team and last years team is overall work ethic and determination. I'm not saying the team last year didn't have the work ethic and determination, because they did. I'm saying that the members of this years team went though the down times in the last two years and are ready to make some changes. We're ready to do something new this season."
Returning to the line-up hoping to turn things around for the Silver and Black will be senior leaders Justin Carpenter (5'10"), and Evan Cline (5'10"); juniors Darren Heintzman (6'2"), and Drew Casey (6'1"); and sophomore Dylan Romine, (6'1").
Joining the frey on the court for 2011 will be senior, Dalton Wells (5'10"); juniors, Scott Sole (5'7"), Alex Doak (6'11"), Isaiah Casenelli (6'), Mitchell Higgins (5'10"), Christian Ice (5'10"), Brandon Frey (5'11"), Sean Yonce (5'9"); sophomores: Cole Kocher (5'9"), Tim Edwards (6'3"), Dylan Reynolds (5'9"), Chase Cornell (5'9"), Ryan Dalrymple (5'11"), Noah Garrison (5'11"), Swen Scheidemanel (5'11"), and Nathan Heintzman (5'10").
On the freshmen roster this season are: Chris Thomas, Blake Caprenter, Josh Smith, John Lancaster, Brock Yeater, Levi Cochran, Alex Boor and Jacob Stackpole.
Without a "big man" on the court, Kimble looks to run Cline at the point with Kocher, Romine, Carpenter and Heintzman as two, three, four and five guards.
"Our strengths will be speed and endurance," he said. "Our guys are in shape and can be physical if we need to be, but I think we'll depend more on finesse than physicality."
As for weaknesses, Kimble states matter-of-factly that it's a lack of height. "It's not that we're short," he said. "But we don't have the height we've been able to count on in the past. We have to adjust to that fact and rely on our skills in other areas."
Kimble will be assisted by D.J. Cunningham who will run the junior varsity program and freshman coach Tom Phillips. Together the coaches have set high yet attainable goals for the teams.
"We're hoping the fans come out and lend their support to the team," said the coach. "I think people will be surprised by what they see."
The Silver Knights started off the season on Dec. 6, hosting the Lumberjacks of Valley High School. On Dec. 9-10 the team will travel to Scott to participate in the Coal Classic; and on Dec. 13 the Knights will be back on their own home court, playing host to the Yellow Jackets of Williamstown.
Later in the season, on Jan. 13-14 the Silver Knights will host their own tournament, the Boggs Roundball Classic with both the girls and boys varsity teams taking part in the competition. Teams participating in the boys tournament will be Conotton Valley, Wheeling Central and Magnolia. Participating in the girls' tournament will be teams from Frontier, John Marshall and Magnolia.
Wildcats go with 10 for 2011
The 2011 boys basketball season could be a tough one for Paden City, with only
10 players out for the varsity squad and no true point guard to speak of. It could also be a very surprising and interesting season, depending on how one looks at it.
"We may not have a lot of kids, but the ones we do have are the ones that want to play and want to be here," said Wildcat head coach, Fred King. "They have been working very hard, and things are coming together for us."
The loss of lone senior and scoring wizard, Zach Yost to graduation last year left a huge gap in the Wildcat line-up, one that King does not see being filled with another lone gunman any time soon.
"Zach was our go-to guy last year," he said. "He put up about 16 points a game. You can't replace a kid like that. Instead, we'll rework our game plan and come up with something different, we don't have a choice."
Returning to the Paden City squad in 2011 are four tried and true lettermen, the team has leaned heavily on in the past: seniors, Geoffrey Bidwell (6'), Trey Leonard (6'2"), and Jamie Billiter (5'9"), and junior, Drew Bidwell (5'8").
"These guys are going to lead this team," King said. "They've already shown great improvement over last year, but we need them to continue to improve in order to see some success this year."
"Jamie is our captain, and my coach on the floor. He's well grounded and knows what's expected of him. We're looking for Trey to make a difference on the boards for us this year. We want him more aggressive, more feisty under there. Geoffrey has the hustle we want the rest of the team to follow and we're looking for Drew to step up his shot and put 6-8 points on the scoreboard every night."
Six freshmen will join the upperclassmen in hopes of getting something started in Paden City this year: Kane Pyles (6'), Zach Heasley (6'2"), Brandon Cross (5'11"), Levi Meadows (5'8"), Craig Allen (5'11"), Kennedy Cain (6'3").
"Our freshmen class is a good mix of a little bit of everything," the coach said. "We've got a couple of shooters, a couple of scrappers, a thinker . . . it's going to be very interesting to mix these guys in with the four older boys. In fact, that's going to be the biggest challenge we face this season, getting the right mix of talent and skill on the floor at the same time."
"They're all bringing something different to the table, we just have to be able to find a way to work it all in so we all will benefit."
"I can't go with all older kids in the line-up because it just isn't going to be enough for what we need. Neither can I go with a whole freshman line-up, those kids are not ready for that kind of pressure just yet."
"These are very coachable kids and fun to work with. We just have to find what works for us, what excites us, makes us gel. Whatever it is, I just hope we can see some success this season."
Paden City opened up their season on Tuesday at Hundred, with no tried and true game plan in their pockets.
On Friday and Saturday the team will host their annual Bob and Sharon Burton Christmas Classic tournament. On Friday, Wood County Christian will take on Hundred at 6 p.m. followed by Paden City vs. Valley at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, the consolation game will take place at 6 followed by the championship game at 7:30 p.m.
In between the games taking place on Saturday night, Paden City will recognize some very special athletes amongst them, the 1987 Wildcat boys basketball team who amassed a 27-0 record and brought home the West Virginia State Championship trophy, coached by Bob Burton.
"This is what it's all about," King said. "Mixing the old with the new and seeing what comes of it."