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River View continuing to build

| November 27, 2013

WARSAW – It’s simply Madness at River View High School.

An event designed to generate excitement about the upcoming basketball season called “Black Bear Madness” features a night of fun and games and head boys coach Jason Trout believes that it helps to perpetuate games that are fun.

Also helping the third year coach to achieve this is the fact that the kids are buying into it.

“I’m not sure what the outlook is for the season but we’re hoping it’s a lot better than last year,” said Trout. “Black Bear Madness is meant to get people excited and start showing up to games with a different mindset. Last year we started some young guys and took it on the chin but the community knew we were playing harder and are expecting this year to be a turnaround. Hopefully this will be the year we climb out of the cellar in our division.”

The Black Bears captured just one victory year ago, but it was apparent that effort was never lacking. With that carrying over and the addition of some new, talented blood, Trout is optimistic.

“At this point, we are light years ahead of where we were last year because we have a lot people returning,” said Trout “It’s beginning to take shape as a program. The kids coming to know what we’re doing defensively and so that’s cut a lot of time out of the preseason working on things we already know.

“And we’re definitely a lot deeper than we were last year. We only lost (graduate) Hunter Winegar and brought back four starters. Two started as freshmen and are now sophomores and have gotten a lot of better.

Returning are seniors Corey Miller and John Rice, who stand 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-5, respectively, while Matt Brillhart and Jon Dart are the aforementioned sophomores.

“John and Corey Miller been around four years and this is their third with me and kind of automatically stepped into leadership roles,” Trout said. “Some of the others who we’re pleased with are Dart and Brillhart. Even though they’re only sophomores, they both started a full year of varsity. They’ve really stepped up on the floor and I feel a lot better about the locker room because we have four leaders whereas last year we only had one.

the influx of five players makes a big difference. It starts to make us feel that we’re building a program when kids really want to play. We’re doing things right internally that the kids are starting to recognize and want to be a part of and it makes us feel like we’re succeeding in that aspect.”

Also returning are 5-10 junior Marcus Watson, 6-1 sophomore Sam Vickers and 5-11 sophomore Tanner Belangia.

Additions to the team are aplenty. Zach Fouch, a 5-11 junior is playing varsity basketball for the first time, Andy Parsons, a 6-2 forward transferred from John Glenn and 6-0 guard D’Angelo Burns is new to the district after transferring from Newark High School. Also new are 6-2 Richard Pietryzk and 6-4 Damjan Zec. Both are senior foreign exchange students.

“Hopefully that gives us the opportunity to play nine or ten deep,” said Trout. “We are doing a lot of new things and are still having to teach but it’s more of strategy driven instead of basic fundamentals so we’ve worked out a lot of those kinks and kind have doing some different stuff because fundamentally, we haven’t been very good for a long time. Luckily we’ve had some of the same personnel to kind of run the same thing for three years.

“We’re thinking that we’re not very big but have some guys who can get to the rim and can finish around the basket and we have some guys around the perimeter so it’s kind of going to be a mixture. We’re trying to be up-tempo. If it holds true the way it’s gone the first few weeks, we hope to wear some people out trying to get up and down as quick as we can. We have some guys who really don’t get tired.”

The Black Bears open the season at Harrison Central On November 30th. Other non-league games consist of Morgan, East Knox, Danville, Maysville, Meadowbrook, West Holmes, Ridgewood and Newcomerstown.

“What excites me most about this team is the speed and athleticism,” Trout said. “We’re not huge and not a lot of guys who are overly strong but we’re quic

Category: High School, Sports

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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