The Silver Knight boys basketball program at Tyler Consolidated High School is out to make some noise this season. After a 2011-12 effort that saw the team win only one game, the Silver Knights are on a mission to gain some respect.
"We never want to have a season like we had last year again," said head coach of the Knights, J.C. Kimble. "Never. We're looking to maybe make a little bit of noise and play the game like we know we can. This is a great group of young men and they're working hard for us. We all want to have a season to be proud of."
A total of 34 young men have signed on to be a part of the Silver Knight basketball program for the 2012-13 season, and have been dispersed among the varsity, junior varsity and freshmen teams. The numbers are not only a plus for this years' teams, but bodes well for the future of Knight basketball.
"Coaches Cunningham, Wall and I are excited to have so many guys out for the program," Kimble said. "We probably have more football players on the team than we've ever had, not to mention the soccer players and cross country team members, which gives us a leg up on our conditioning right from the beginning. These guys are already in decent shape and raring to go. We're ready to get the season underway."
With the loss of only two seniors to graduation last year in Evan Cline and Dalton Wells, the Knights are poised to take on all comers with several experienced players returning.
Eight seniors and seven juniors will make up the varsity team hitting the hardboards this year, all returning with quality playing time last year. Seniors looking for starting time are Alex Doak,( 6' 3"); Drew Casey, (6' 1"); Tim Edwards (6' 4"); Christian Ice (5' 10") Isaiah Casenelli (6' 2"); Scott Sole (5' 8"); Randy Eastham (6' 4"); and Darren Heintzman (6' 2"). The seven juniors seeking time on the court are Dylan Reynolds (5' 10"); Dylan Romine (6' 1"); Swen Schiedamantel (6'); Cole Kocher (5' 8"); and Chase Cornell (5' 10").
"The big difference between last year and this year is the fact that they've all had a birthday," the coach said. "They're a year older, stronger, wiser and more confident than they were. We went 10-15 in our summer league play this year, going up against some good teams. We also took part in the team camp offered at WVU and did well there. Those things alone should make all the difference in this year and last."
Fans of the team can look for Reynolds or Sole to run point with Edwards generally taking the middle man position and any combination of these three and Romine, Heintzman, Casenelli, Casey, and Eastham, to take up key positions in the Knight man-to-man play.
"Our bench is going to play a very important role this year," coach Kimble said. "Just because they don't start does not mean they are not going to be a vital part of our team. Players coming off the bench ready to go will mean all the difference in our success this year. We need them ready to produce instantly."
"Continuity will be the key."
The Knight junior varsity team, coached by D.J. Cunningham, will see a varied group of athletes each looking to progress in skill and production on the court. Members of the team will include juniors Noah Garrison and Ryan Dalrymple; and sophomores: Levi Cochran, Josh Smith, Jonathan Lancaster, Chris Thomas, Kris Lashbrook, Blake Carpenter, and Alex Booher.
"These guys are working hard and obviously wanting to move onto the varsity roster," the coach said. "And that's not impossible, they show that they're ready to step-up, we can do that."
Scott Wall will be coaching the 12 Knight freshmen out for their first year of high school ball: Brannon Jones, Julian Work, Damien Curtis, Josh Peck, Kyle Frum, Daron Weekly, Colby lash, Jeremy Lancaster, Jordan Baker, Austin Thompson, Hoan Wells and Dillon Glover.
"We're extremely glad to have enough freshmen to field a separate team," Kimble said. "This will give these guys a year to get the gist of the program and get their legs under them."
This is the first season the Tyler Consolidated basketball program will compete at the Class A level, after the WVSSAC made changes in the classifications last November. Kimble, however, says it matters little what class they are in.
"Of course our schedule changed and we picked up several Class A teams, why wouldn't we?" he said. "We want our kids to give their all, every game, regardless who our opponent is, Class A, double A or triple. It shouldn't matter, we should always play our best game every single night."
"This is what we have to do if we're going to meet our goal of being one of the top seeds in the Region at season's end."
The Silver Knights will begin their season on Dec. 4 at home against Valley and will look forward to participating in Paden City's Annual Bob and Sharon Burton Christmas Tournament on Dec. 7-8, as well as a Class A Region I Classic hosted by Magnolia in January. Also in January, the team will host their own Roundball Tournament, bringing a host of games in the two days at the gym at Tyler Consolidated.