Young Boys Team Looks to Build for the Future

With a young team, the boys look to gain experience for seasons to come.

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Young Boys Team Looks to Build for the Future

Ry Threlkold-Wiegand '19 goes up for a layup.

Ry Threlkold-Wiegand '19 goes up for a layup.

Jonathan House

Ry Threlkold-Wiegand '19 goes up for a layup.

Jonathan House

Jonathan House

Ry Threlkold-Wiegand '19 goes up for a layup.

Jonathan House, Sports Editor

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After a disappointing start to the season in which the Little Hawks started 0-6, the team has improved their record to 3-13 and have averaged 51.3 points per game over their last 10 games, after averaging only 32.8 points per game in their 0-6 start. Head coach Derek Roberts believes that the team has also improved its defense and communication.

“I think just the maturity level of our athletes has gotten better because at the beginning of the year I don’t think it was in a very good spot,” Roberts said of his team’s development and improvement. “Guys were learning the varsity level; just in terms of how to practice and how to get after it. I think the guys are doing a better job of that.”

This year, the team has five sophomores playing varsity as well as a freshman, Keyshawn Christian, who averages 6.6 points per game and leads the team in rebounds. The adjustment to varsity took a little time for some of the younger players on the team, but Ryland Threlkeld-Wiegand ‘19 says he has gotten used to it.

“From sophomore to varsity, it’s a big jump, so at first everything was a lot faster,” Threlkeld-Wiegand said. “But since then, all the underclassmen, as the season has gone on, have gotten used to the speed, and we’ve taken care of the ball better, we’ve finished better, we just got used to the big jump to varsity level.”

Despite having a relatively young team, the three remaining seniors, Charles Johnson, Jared Taylor, and Kolbie Barnes, have provided leadership to the younger players. However, Jared Taylor is currently out with a shoulder injury.

“They lead vocally and by example and I can’t really say enough about those guys and what they’ve done for the team and for the program,” Roberts said.

Johnson has really embraced his role as a leader in his final season and wants to pass along his knowledge of the City High basketball program.
“I’m just being a good team player, helping the younger guys out, I’ve done this for three years, I have the experience.” Johnson said.

Johnson has also provided a spark, averaging 11.1 points per game since his return.

As the season comes to a close in the next week or so, Roberts hopes that having a lot of remaining games at home will allow the team to continue improving.

“We’re not looking for a certain number of wins but we’re just looking for improvement and carrying over from practice to game,” Roberts said.

Despite the losing record, Roberts said he has been really impressed with the way the team has continued to work hard in practice no matter their record.

“I would say in one word [to describe the team] is resilience and the courage also. It’s not easy going out there and being a part of a team that has a losing record,” Roberts said.  

Throughout the season, Roberts still remains hopeful that better days are ahead for the program with an influx of talent in the sophomore, freshmen, as well as the eighth grade level. He also thinks that the experience that the young team has had this year will pay dividends down the road.

“You look at some of these guys that are stepping up and getting this incredible experience on the varsity level as freshmen, as sophomores,” Roberts said. “You know, we’re gonna have these same guys for the next two-three years knowing the system, knowing what’s expected, this experience has just been great for them.”