Boy's basketball preview
Head Coach: Bob Fauver
Assistant coach: Cody White
Record last season: 22-4
Returnees: Robert Fauver (Senior-guard), Garrett Clark (Senior-guard/forward), Luke Wright (Senior-forward/center), Curt Moore (Senior-guard/forward), Ray McDougan (Senior-guard/forward), John Canfield (Senior-forward/center), Troy Stivason (Junior-guard), Brandon Fauver (Sophomore-guard).
Comments on returnees: The returning players have experience, height and speed. Rob Fauver, Garrett Clark and Luke Wright have been on varsity since their freshman year and have been through it all. All returning players saw substantial time last year they now are ready to contribute on a nightly basis.
Newcomers: Brad Sampson (Senior-forward/center), Dan Moyer (Junior-forward/center), Fred Horn (Junior-forward), Jarett Priester (Sophomore-guard0.
Comments on newcomers: Brad Sampson has returned to basketball. He has not played since his freshman year. His size and strength will help us, especially with the absence of Craig Moore who will be sidelined this season with a leg injury. Dan Moyer, Fred Horn and Jarrett Priester are coming from a very successful JV team and will be counted on to provide depth.
Players to watch: Robert Fauver, Garrett Clark and Luke Wright. All three have been varsity players since their freshman year and have been on the past back to back NTL championship teams. Ray McDougan, Troy Stivason and Brandon Fauver. These three played valuable minutes throughout last year and contributed in big ways during certain games.
Overall thoughts on this year's team: This team is a coaches dream. They have experience, depth, quickness and height. They got a taste of the post season last year and not only want a return trip but they want a district title, something Athens boys basketball has not had since 1963. This year's team is AAA but I believe have all the ingredients to have a very successful season however with that said you have to come focused and ready to play each and every game. If we do that this could be a very special season for them.
Thoughts on the league: Towanda, Sayre, Wyalusing and Northeast Bradford lost a lot of quality players and look to be rebuilding. Troy and Canton return their core players so they will be tough.
Head Coach: Lance Larcom
Assistant coach: Brock Kitchen
Record last season: 9-13
Returnees: Eddie Larcom (Senior, guard), Emmett Watson (Senior, guard), Wes Moore (Senior, forward), Jesse Lattimer (Junior, guard/forward), Tim Bassett (Junior, forward).
Comments on returnees: Our three seniors have started for two years, and both juniors started at times last season, so we have experience.
Overall thoughts on this year's team: I've been coaching this team since they were in elementary school. They are a great group of young men, and they put more effort into this past off-season than ever before. We expect to compete in every game we play in, and we expect to win.
Thoughts on the league: Athens has to be the favorite. They are big, athletic and a match-up nightmare. Sayre and Towanda will be tough, as usual. They will be more guard-oriented, but still have some size that we will have to deal with. Troy still has, I feel, one of the finest coaches in our area in Bobby Woodward, and that can make up for a lot, and Wyalusing's kids may just flourish by losing Johnson, so both could surprise some people this year. NEB has a new coach and a couple of kids back, so they should be better.
Bottom line is, there are no nights "off" in the NTL. We will have to play up to our capabilities to compete.
Northeast Bradford Panthers
Head Coach: Jake Rought
Assistant Coaches: Alan Crawn, Scott Hakes
Record last season: 0-22
Returnees: Todd Bonin (Guard), Shawn Hakes (Forward), Ryan Horne (Guard).
Comments on returnees: We have three returning seniors.
Newcomers: Nick Geiser (Guard), Jordan Goodwin (Forward), Anthony Jampo (Guard), Jakayo Frye (Forward).
Comments on newcomers: Young players, they do not have a lot of experience.
Players to watch: Todd Bonin, Shawn Hakes, Ryan Horne
Overall thoughts on this year's team: New coaches this year, it is going to be a learning curve for everyone and we will most likely have our ups and downs.
Thoughts on the league this season: Athens and Towanda will probably be the cream of the league and Northeast hopes to be competitive this year.
Head Coach: Ben Gambrell III
Assistant coach: David Gabriel, Steve Satterly
Record last season: 13-10
Returnees: Nate Williams (Sophomore-guard), Adam Wampole (Senior-guard), Walter Wampole (Senior-center), Seth Murrelle (Junior-guard).
Comments on returnees: Nate Williams was one of the NTL leading scorers as a freshman. Walter was a significant help last year playing as a big man and Adam will be seeing more floor time this year as a shooting guard. Seth was a dressing Varsity player from the JV squad last year. His speed and quickness will be a factor for this team.
Newcomers: Tony Cornish (Junior-forward), Jeremy Kyc (Junior-center), Gabe Nobles (Junior-forward), Nick Skerpon (Senior-guard).
Comments on newcomers: All of these players once played basketball for Sayre at the JV level and are returning after a year or two off. I believe once they get their basketball legs and IQ up to par, each of them will be able to provide an important role on this team. They are strong, quick to learn, and energetic players.
Players to watch: Nate Williams, Nick Skerpon, Jeremy Kyc, and Seth Murrelle
Overall thoughts on this year's team: We are young both class-wise and varsity experience. I believe we will make up for that with a great attitude for competitive basketball and an overall willingness to work hard. It is a completely different attitude with this team this year. I'm happy with our progress thus far.
Thoughts on the league this season: As I've said before, "You are the champ until someone beats you." Athens is the team to beat this year. Overall, they have the most playing experience at the varsity level. I see Towanda and Troy to have very good teams also. They have taken their lumps over the past couple of years with young players, but now it is time for their fruits of labor to bloom. They will be tough also.
Towanda Black Knights
Head Coach: Ryan Napp
Assistant coaches: Jeff Innocenzo, Joel Mattocks, Charlie Brown
Record last season: 16-8
Returnees: Joel Miller (Senior-forward/center), Brandon Dinelli (Senior-guard), Dave Rodenhizer (Junior-guard), Garrett Mosier (junior-forward/center), Brad Sparbanie (Junior-guard/forward), Noah Huff (Sophomore-guard).
Comments on returnees: Our six returning letterman gained a lot of experience last year. We are well balanced athletically. Our success this season will be dependent on how hard we work in practice, and how well we transfer that work to our games. Although we are considered a young team this year, we have the potential to play like an experienced one.
Newcomers: Dan Fetterman (Junior-forward), Lij Griffin (Junior-guard), Dylan Bates (Sophomore-guard), Noah Wheeler (Sophomore-guard/forward), Tristan James (Sophomore-center), Bailey Potter (Sophomore-guard).
Comments on newcomers: Our newcomers bring a lot of energy, athletic ability, and quickness to our team. Everyone on the team has the potential to play a lot of varsity minutes this year.
Players to watch: Noah Huff (Sophomore) and Dave Rodenhizer (Junior) have the potential to be one of the area's best backcourts this year. Joel Miller and Garrett Mosier have the ability to play inside and outside and should give opposing defenses difficulty guarding them.
Overall thoughts on this year's team: If we can reach our potential on the defensive side of the court, we will have a very successful season. We are looking forward to building upon last year's district games' experiences. Our goal this year is to get into the District 4 Final Four.
Thoughts on the league: Our league has a lot of talented guards and very quick teams. This will make every night competitive. Athens may be the best team in District IV for all levels. It will be a great challenge and opportunity to compete against a team like that twice this year. It should make each team better and more prepared for districts.
Head Coach: Bob Woodward
Assistant coaches: Steve Renzi, Matt Allen
Record last season: 8-14
Returnees: Jed Wright (guard), Brandon Mattocks (guard), Evan Polly (guard), Ryan reeves (guard), Chad Cole (forward), Thomas Swain (guard), Gage Burns (forward).
Comments on returnees: We are excited about our returnees. They are great kids and work hard.
Newcomers: Sean Mosher (center)
Overall thoughts on this year's team: We have great kids who work hard. We are committed to work hard every day. We are excited about becoming the best we can be.
Thoughts on the league this season: This is a great league with great coaches and some very good players. It will be an exciting year of basketball.
Head Coach: Steve Reinhart
Assistant coaches: Jim Schools, Tim Burke, Jared Johnson
Record last season: 13-12
Returnees: Johan Shotwell (Forward), Jeremy Allyn (Forward), Cody Pickett (Guard).
Newcomers: Shane Salsman (Forward), Terron Millard (Guard), Matt Woodruff (Guard), Dylan Bulick (Forward), Jordan Salsman (Guard), Jeremiah Curley (Forward), Kyle Anderson (Guard), Dustin Shaw (Forward).
Comments on newcomers: They are young.
Overall thoughts on this year's team: We are young.
Thoughts on the league this season: Frontrunner is Athens. In the mix is Troy, Towanda and Sayre.
Cowanesque Valley Indians
Head Coach: Mike Vargeson
Assistant coach: Roy Vargeson
Record last season: 9-13
Returnees: Luke Plummer (Senior-guard/forward), Brandon Whitesell (Junior), Josh Nudd (Junior).
Comments on returnees: Luke is the only senior returning and was the sixth man from last year's team. Brandon and Josh both received a bit of playing time on Varsity last year.
Newcomers: Nathan Bonham (Sophomore-guard), Tyler Cline (Sophomore-forward), Dakota Corwin (Sophomore-center), Brandon McLean (Sophomore-forward), Joey Brown (Freshman-guard), Tyler Melko (Freshman-forward), Bryant Painter (Freshman-guard).
Comments on newcomers: Very young and no experience at the Varsity level.
Overall thoughts on this year's team: Very young this year with very little experience at the varsity level. This is most definitely a rebuilding season.
Head Coach: Brian Litzelman
Assistant coach: Jimmy Walker
Record last season 0-22
Returnees: Jacob Spring (forward), Tyler Upham (forward), Cody Fritz (forward), Cody Schmouder (guard), James Walker (guard).
Comments on returnees: All starters return from a very young team last year. Hoping to use experience from last year to improve this year.
Newcomers: Kenny Kreger (center), Dalton Litzelman (forward), Harley Kilmer (guard), Keenan Young (forward), Dillon Ford (guard)
Comments on newcomers: Looking to use their hustle and determination to give support to the returning players from last year.
Overall thoughts on this year's team: Still a very young team with only two seniors. Hoping to become competitive in all games this year and get a few wins under our belts.
Thoughts on the league this season: From what I can gather it seems to be a pretty tough league this year, but it is hard to figure out when it's your first year back after 10 years out of coaching at this level.
Head Coach: Kipper Burleigh
Assistant coaches: Carl Walker, John Szentesy, Jon Shaw
Record last season: 17-7
Returnees: Taylor Hillson (Senior), Sam Rotella (Senior), Reece Correll (Senior), Dallas Dzuiba (Senior), Brady Andrews (Junior), Bo Burleigh (Sophomore), Ryan Campbell (Sophomore), Bryce Zaparzynski (Sophomore)
Comments on returnees: Taylor, Sam and Reece all started last year. Dallas is stepping in as a first year starter. He will play center. He has worked real hard in the last two years and should do very well. We will need an underclassman to round out the starting five.
Newcomers: Chandler Correll (Sophomore), Jarrod Burd (Sophomore).
Comments on newcomers: Both of these kids are athletic and will contribute right away.
Players to watch: Taylor Hillson is a tough defender who can score anywhere on the floor.
Overall thoughts on this year's team: We are hoping for a better post-season. The team did not enjoy their first round exit last year from the district playoffs. We did not play up to our potential versus Lourdes Regional.
Thoughts on the league this season: Wellsboro and Athens are the teams to beat. Both should be real tough.
North Penn Panthers
Head Coach: Jeff Manikowski
Assistant coaches: Derek Hall
Record last season: 10-12
Returnees: Dan Prouty (Guard), Brandon Carlson (Guard), Andrew Craig (Forward), Cody Crum (Guard), Ryan Bogaczyk (Forward), Kaynen Arredendo (Forward), Brad Brubaker (Forward).
Comments on returnees: Dan Prouty is the only returning starter from last year although the others saw a good amount of varsity playing time.
Newcomers: Dylan Rudinski (Guard), Dayton Wood (Guard), Levi Christman (Guard), Jordan Orantes (Guard), Nick Mahonski (Forward).
Comments on newcomers: The newcomers bring a lot of speed and depth to our squad.
Players to watch: Dan Prouty, Kaynen Arredondo, Cody Crum
Overall thoughts on this year's team: We lost four of our five starters from last year's team so we are definitely young and inexperienced. This year we will have to rely on our depth and defense to carry us to where we want to be at the end of the year.
Thoughts on the league this season: Wellsboro is the defending NTL West champions and they return most of their starting line-up so they look like the team to set the pace in the West.
Wellsboro Green Hornets
Head Coach: Todd Outman
Assistant Coaches: Chase Kriner, Charlie Griscavage, Nathan Babcock
Record last season: 20-4
Returnees: Jordan Jackson (Senior, guard), Matt Reese (Senior, guard), Joe Doganiero (Junior, guard), Dylan Prough (Junior, forward), Kieron Smethers (Sophomore, center), Michael Pietropola (Sophomore, forward), Nick Marple (Sophomore, forward), Andrew McCart (Senior, center).
Comments on returnees: Jordan Jackson and Matt Reese are Co-MVP's of the NTL West League last year and will be counted on to lead this year's squad. Matt is a tenacious defender who has improved his offensive capabilities over the summer and will be counted on to do more scoring than last year. Jordan is one of the truest scorers in all the NTL and will be a match up problem for most teams. Joe is the team's most improved player; a good ball handler and shooter who is gaining more confidence by the day. Dylan is an undersized post player who will be required to play the opposing team's most physical player; a strong rebounder who can also step outside and hit the 3 pointer. Michael will be counted on to do a lot of the team's scoring from the outside; a great 3 point shooter. Kieron is a good athlete who is very long; a very respectable shooter and ball handler for a 6'3" player. Nick is a very physical player who will be counted to provide quality minutes off the bench. Andrew is a decent shooter who is tall at 6"5" and will provide some much needed height in the middle.
Newcomers: Jermaine Brooks (Junior, forward), Isiaha Williams (Senior, guard), Dawson Prough (Freshman, forward), Mike Ribble (Junior, forward).
Comments on newcomers: Isiaha is good ball handler and shooter who is quick; his speed will be something we will need this year. Dawson, Jermaine, and Mike are new to this year's team and are expected to contribute in their own way after they get a good feel for what we are doing.
Players to watch: Jordan Jackson and Matt Reese. Being the only starting seniors on the squad it will be their leadership that will determine the success of our team. As they go, the team will go.
Overall thoughts on this year's team: This year's team is very young. Matt and Jordan are the only seniors who saw extensive playing time last year. The under-classman have worked hard on improving their games this summer and will need to step up if the team is to win. We are also quite small, but quick and athletic. We will need to utilize our quickness and athleticism in order to be successful.
Thoughts on the league this season: I believe the NTL West is down a bit this year, but with that being said we realize that we will have to show up to play every night because we are so young.
Head Coach: Joe Cevette
Assistant coach: Craig Stage
Record last season: 12-11
Returnees: Hunter Huyett (center), Shea Daley (forward), Canyon Black (guard).
Comments on returnees: We lost five seniors to graduation and our two leading scorers. Huyett was a starter last year while Daley and Black did not see significant time last year. All three are senior and work hard but they do lack a certain level of experience.
Newcomers: Troy Adriance (guard), Nick Cevette (forward/guard), Josh Bradburry (guard), Kyle Haight (forward).
Comments on newcomers: All will be seeing their first significant varsity time. Adriance is a Junior while the others are all Sophomores. We will be very young with this group.
Overall thoughts on this year's team: We lost five seniors and our two leading scorers, we will be very young and lack some experience. The team works very hard and plays well together as a unit. We hope to be competitive and make districts.
Notre Dame Crusaders
Head Coach: Bill Hopkins
Assistant coaches: Dan Sullivan, Mike Collins
Record last season: 19-3
Returnees: Tom Agan (Junior, guard/forward-6'4"), Darius Garvin (Sophomore, guard-6'1"), Derek Marshall (Junior, guard-6'1"), Nate Niles (Junior, center-6'3"), Sean Brown (Senior, guard-5'11"), Devon Jackson (Senior, center-6'2"), Wyatt Martin (Senior, forward-6'4"), Jordan Henley (Senior, forward-6')
Comments on returnees: Our seniors were role players on last year's team and are looking for an expanded role this season. Tom Agan, Darius Garvin and Derek Marshall all made the Southern Tier team in the Basketball Coaches Association of New York Summer Hoops Festival this past August.
Newcomers: Devonte Gaskins (Sophomore, guard), Chris Roe (Sophomore, guard), Jonas McCaig (Junior, guard), Brian Hale (Junior, guard), Hunter Thomas (Junior, guard), Eric Brennan (Junior, center) and Tom Watkins (Junior, center).
Comments on Newcomers: Many of the players played on a JV team that was 18-1 with their only loss coming to Horseheads in the JV Christmas Tournament. They bring size and athleticism to our returning players.
Player(s) to watch: Tom Agan and Darius Garvin will play a much different role on this year's team. Last year they played alongside and looked up to our seniors. Now they are the veteran players even though they are still underclassmen. How they cope with this role will be fun to watch.
Overall thoughts on this year's team: We are testing them in pre-season and doing a lot of self-scouting as we evaluate our team. Our practices have been very competitive with no set starting line-up assured. All of the players will be tested early to see who truly is ready to step in to help us win games.
Thoughts on the league this season: The IAC should be more balanced this season. There are many teams that will have senior dominated line-ups. Both divisions in the IAC South should be a battle and should provide a lot of excitement for basketball fans.
Head Coach: Dave Reese
Returnees: Dalton Wojcuich, Zach Baker, Steven Lounsberry
Comments on Returnees: Untested group, will need experience.
Newcomers: Josh Dougherty (sophomore-guard), Dakota Skinner (Junior-guard), Zach Worthington (Sophomore-forward), Josh Kitchart (Sophomore-forward), Dustin Sherman (Sophomore-guard).
Comments on newcomers: Young group that will be tested early. Need to raise level of play and will be called upon to contribute right away.
Player(s) to watch: John Dougherty and Zach Baker need to become team leaders.
Overall thoughts on this year's team: Very young and inexperienced group. Team needs to focus on improving from week to week.
Thoughts on the league this season: Competitive league with Notre Dame and Waverly leading Large School South and Edison, Newfield and Odessa leading the Small School South.
Head Coach: Lou Judson
Last Season's Record: 16-3
Top Returning Players: Chris Raupers (senior forward - 6'4"), Patric Bronson (senior forward - 6'5"), Cody Marchese (senior pt. guard - 6'0"), Dylan Perry (junior guard - 6'0"), Ryan McFarland (junior forward - 6'4")
Comments on Team: There are a lot of changes to this year's varsity basketball squad. Newcomer, Zach Cooney - senior, standout football player decided to play basketball this season who brings an added toughness and athleticism to our team but still lacks varsity experience, Dylan Wright lost his junior year to a knee injury is back this year but lacks varsity experience, Chris Raupers (one of the best players on the team will miss at least the first 6 games of the season), Five juniors (4 of which are returning) lost half the varsity season for disciplinary action, along with graduating an excellent senior class, and of course the juniors who are now on the team. So this preseason is a little different than in years past. We'll really utilize our time wisely and have to have an added focus. It's important to get everyone on the same page, get these guys in basketball shape, along with putting in the playbook on both ends of the floor. We have our work cut out for us! Not to mention that we're two-time defending division I and overall large school champs and everyone is gunning for us. I keep on telling this team we have a huge bulls-eye on our chest and many teams want another chance and revenge. So I'm really not sure what to expect early on with this team. I know one thing, we'll play hard and we'll take advantage of our scrimmages to get a better idea of what we really need to work on in practice. We're very optimistic and look forward to another great year. We lack some varsity experience in certain positions but these players have been successful up through the program. We lost a lot to graduation and have some voids to fill. I'm not sure yet where our scoring is going to come from but I know we have the pieces to have a successful team, especially with our biggest advantage being our size. Defensively you may see us playing a bit more extended zones to take advantage of that size. Offensively we will still get out and run but look to dump it into the posts as much as we can.
Comments on the league: In our division Watkins Glen has a very good team along with Notre Dame who continues to just reload. Newark Valley has an improved team who will give some teams fits this year.
Sullivan County Griffins
Head Coach: Glenn Vaughan
Assistant coaches: Nathan Chase (Volunteer Coaches-Frank Comfort, Kyle Gleockler)
Last year's record-22-4
Returnees: Lucas Hatton (Senior, guard/forward - 6'1"), Kelby Mullen (Senior, guard - 6'1"), Derek Wilkins (Senior, forward/center - 6'5"), Zach Meyer (Senior, guard/forward - 6'6"), Connor Wylie (Junior, forward/center - 6'5"), Bob Polcrack (Junior, guard/forward - 6'2"), Sean Flannery (Junior, guard - 5'7"), Adam Szklanka (Sophomore, guard/forward - 6'2"), Jordan Beinlich (Sophomore, guard/forward - 6').
Newcomers: Tyler Sturgis (Junior), Bobby Frank (Sophomore), Robert Hoffman (Sophomore), Tom Choplick (Sophomore), Miguel Rodriguez (Freshman).
Player(s) to watch: Kelby Mullen will be our starting point guard for the fourth consecutive season. He contributes in big ways on both ends of the floor. Conner Wylie and Derek Wilkins will be tough to deal with inside. Zach Meyer was a fantastic shooter for us last year and we look for more of the same this year. Lucas Hatton will be a defensive force this season.
Overall thoughts on this year's team: This year's team is going to be very competitive. We have size, experience, speed and a group of guys that will come to practice to compete every night. This is a driven group of guys that has set some lofty goals. We are optimistic and are looking forward to an exciting season.
Thoughts on the league this season: Our league will be tough once again. Bloomsburg brings back one of the best players around in Zach Mrozek and three other starters off of last year's team. St. John Neumann will be tough. South Williamsport and Muncy lost a lot but will be very competitive. Both teams bring back good players and are well coached.
North Rome Christian School
Head Coach: Dave Jennings
Assistant Coach: Keith Gorsline, Chris Gray
Record last season: 16-17
Returnees: Nick Stanton (Guard), Dylan Wilcox (Guard), Ben Haefka (Forward), Seth Wilson (Forward), Kyle Bert (Forward).
Comments on returnees: Talented group with Stanton and Haefka returning GFLCAA league all-stars. Stanton was the Co-MVP of that league. The other three have worked very hard in the off-season and anyone could be the leading scorer any given night. Although, Stanton was MVP, Wilcox is the fastest on the team, Haefka has the best vertical jump, but Bert is the best rebounder so they each bring a different angle to the floor.
Newcomers: Nate Gray (Forward), Monty Sickler (Center), Riley Gorsline (Forward), Nathan Helmuth (Guard), Johnny Mosier (Forward), Zach Hiduk (Center), Jordon Stringham (Forward), Set Winward (Guard), Cole Hiduk (Forward), Brandon Beers (Center).
Comments on newcomers: 3 or 4 of these kids could find themselves in the starting lineup, with Gray getting the nod first. The whole group are smart players and each of them will be key ingredients to our success.
Players to watch: Whoever has the ball on the court.
Overall thoughts on this year's team: Very balanced team. Our starting five could scrimmage our second five and it would be a good scrimmage each time. They are all ready to have the opportunity to show every opponent, referee, fans and guest what Christianity is all about through our character on the court. With integrity, hard work, a commitment to the team each boy will show their desire to serve the Lord in his thought, speech, and play.
Thoughts on the league this season: We play in two leagues. NYPENN has 8 teams in it with Summit Christian from Clarks Summit, Pa. finishing with a 21-1 overall record last year. They only lost one starter from that squad. Freedom Village and Ross Corners will be strong too. Hopefully we will be battling with those three teams for the top spots. The GFLCAA league should be ours for the taking as a lot of teams are back with young and inexperienced players.