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North is both Young and Old
J. C. Tilton

North has 4 seniors playing this season, but 3 of them played on the JV team last season. And there may be some opportunities for younger players - sophs and freshman to make their way onto the final Varsity squad. The problem will be that only Mitch Heltsley has quality varsity time from last season. So this years team will be a blend of players with little playing time at the varsity level. “North is starting the season losing 53 points per game,” noted Coach Mike Waggoner. Blankenship and Hayworth, who both graduated last season, averaged this many points per game. So these are some huge shoes to fill by this years squad.

During the offseason, the team participated in the TVS summer league and attended shoot outs at Fort Loramie and Wittenburg. The coach is enthused by the first few practice sessions this season, “the kids are working hard, they like each other and have good team camaraderie. You can see that they are trying to get better.” The focus in the preseason will be on fundamentals. “Some kids are new to the system, our goal is to work hard.” 6' 3” sophomore Mitch Heltsley will have to anchor the team by being a force in the post area and Christian Kovah will score some points. The team has a little height so that will help them in the rebounding department. The coach has new additions to his staff this year, JV coach Doug Dunham, a former varsity coach from Newton, and Bob Brown who has coached at North before. So he has two experienced assistants on the bench going into this season.

The biggest problem for North is the lack of experience at the varsity level. “It is a big step up from JV to Varsity”, noted 6th year coach Mike Waggoner. This will be a key for North this season. They could get off to a slow start as the young team adjusts to a new level of play. But if they can also gel as team and build a good chemistry, they could surprise some teams in the second half of the season. Also it will be interesting to watch the team evolve this season and see who steps up their game.


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