Young, but speedy Fleetwood team has high hopes

Considering the fact that the Fleetwood High boys’ basketball team graduated six players from last year’s team, one might think this is a rebuilding season for the Tigers. Head Coach Terry Sitler doesn’t feel that way.

“We have tasted some success last year, so now the players are eager to return to work and expand on that success,’ said Sitler. “We are working very hard and the team has bought into my coaching style, philosophy and expectations. Teamwork, chemistry and desire will help us win many games — we are not made up of superstars, we are made up of hard working, team oriented basketball players that don’t care about individual honors.’

They did lose a lot of talent from last year’s team, but that doesn’t mean the team will be inexperienced. The other six players will come back with a experience under their belts, and Sitler likes what he sees in the upcoming freshmen players.

“We will not have the size that we had last year, but we will be a much faster team,’ said the coach. “In the end, we believe that we can be a very competitive team and will be disappointed if we are not in the playoffs, both county and district.’

Anchoring the team will be forward/center Matt Hook. The 6′-4′ senior is developing into a very good big man with a good 15 foot jumper, according to his coach. Another senior, Tyler Nolt (6′-2′) is another forward who could get some rebounds for the team.

“He has a high motor,’ said Sitler. “He’s always working and will be a surprise to the league.’

Jared Reasor represents the best outside shooter for the Tigers. The 5′-8′ senior also has the most experience on the team.’

Mitch Kinek and Joe Kinek are senior guards, while Gabe Kotsch a 6′-3′ guard/forward, will all get significant playing time. Jensen Sievert is a 6′-2′ junior guard, while Eric Clemens (6′-3′ Jr. forward/center) and Justin Hummel (5′-7′ Fr. guard) will all see time on the court.

Others to look out for are: Nate Wolfe (Soph., 6′-4′ center); Ryan Scepansky (Soph., 5′-10′ guard); Nate Mecuri (Fr., 6′-2′ forward); Ryan Miller (Fr., 6′-1′ G/F); and Mike Wilkenson (fr., 5′-10′ guard).

Coach Sitler likes the speed and athletic ability of his team, as well as being a good outside shooting team with the right mental approach to the game.

Long-term the goal for Sitler and his staff is to build a basketball program at Fleetwood that will consistenly, year-in and year-out). Short-term, he just wants to see his team get better from the beginning of the season to the end.

“Of course our ultimate goal this year is to qualify for both the county and district playoffs, ” said Sitler. “The players are working very hard to make sure we accomplish this goal.’

The Tigers have six solid players who will all get a lot of playing time. After that it’s hard to tell what they have until a few games are played. There are a lot of young players to this Tiger team that will need time to aclimate themselves to the varsity game. How fast they make that transition may determine just how well the team does this year.

Sitler said that how well the team utilizes its speed will also be a huge factor in the team’s success. They have the speed, the question is can they use it?

As far as predictions are concerned, it’s almost impossible to predict what kind of season the Tigers will have this winter. There are a lot of unanswered questions that won’t be answered until the games are played. It will be interesting to see just how far this young team can go.

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