Whitehall-Coplay Press

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Boys have very young team

Thursday, December 7, 2017 by Steve andres Special to the Press in Sports

Whitehall’s colors may be maroon and gold, but the boys basketball team is also going to be a little bit green as they enter the season with a very young group who will be looking to make their mark this year.

While this year’s roster only features four players who logged varsity minutes, head coach Jeff Jones said that opens an abundance of opportunities for players to earn playing time as they embark on a new season.

“There’s a lot of roster spots up for grabs,” said Jones. “Now it’s a matter of working hard and fighting for playing time.”

Last year’s squad went 16-8 and was dominated by a roster that suited up eight seniors. This season Ethan Parvel, Kevin Virgo, Jake Lisicky, Joseph Herman and Michael Smith are the only returning players, all of whom had limited roles on that senior dominated team that earned postseason berths in both the league and district playoffs.

With such a young team, Jones said that this year is going to be devoted to more teaching than what’s been done in the past few years. Last year they were able to hit the ground running since that crew was accustomed to playing with one another throughout their varsity careers. While that’s a new wrinkle this season, Jones is encouraged by their willingness to absorb the lessons.

“So far the guys have been very receptive and that’s all you can ask,” said Jones.

Both Parvel, a junior, and Virgo, a senior, will see time in the backcourt this season. The Zephs will also feature junior guards Adin Hoderewski and Ricky Melosky, while sophomore Tyler Holubowski will figure in that mix as well.

The frontcourtwill be manned by senior Jake Lisicky, along with junior Joe Herman and sophomore Dylan McGinley, while the middle of their interior will be anchored by Smith, a senior, newcomer Namirr Boatwright, a junior, and Markes Cruz, who returns to the court after a one-year absence.

They’ll also feature junior Andrew Lochard and sophomore Joey Lisicky who will split time on both the varsity and junior varsity teams.

Jones said that it’s a nice blend of players and is looking forward to a new season with this young group.

After being more of an uup-tempo team the last few years, Jones said that their style of play will need to adjust to fit this year’s roster.

“It’s going to be turned down a notch because we don’t have the speed we did in the past,” said Jones.

While they may be a bit more structured this season, Jones said that they’ll still be looking to score transition points whenever the opportunities present themselves.

“We’ll take advantage of those opportunities in transition,” said Jones.

Jones staff this season includes assistant coaches Corey Frantz, Jamison Barnhart, Eric Dogmanits, Jeff Brosky and James Luchansky.

The season begins for the Zephyrs at the Loyalsock Tip-off Tournament on Dec. 8 in Williamsport. heir first league game soon follows with a home game against Allentown Central Catholic on Dec. 12.