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Boys Basketball: 2023-24 Field Falcons season preview

Boys Basketball: 2023-24 Field Falcons season preview


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


Alex Blake

1st year

0-0 career record


   • Coaching Staff: Noah Dockus, assistant; Matt Farley, assistant; Nick Pollack, JV.

   • 2022-23 Record: 2-21 overall; 1-13 Metro Athletic Conference.

   • Returning Lettermen (6): Manny Smith, sr.; Nick Papiska, sr.; Grady Eader, jr.; Mikai Peeple, jr.; Brayden Ronowski, jr.; Trevor Dixon, soph.

   • Lettermen Lost (4): Caleb Gartner, Joe Crawford, Braxton Baumberger, Matt Stayer.


Alex Blake takes over the team and is the sixth coach in the last 10 years for the Falcons. Building a form of consistency for the program will not only be a key for this season, but for the future as well.

To get there, Blake is focused on rebuilding a culture around trust and effort.

“We need to find eight to 10 guys that want to make our season about their teammates and not individual stats,” the first-year coach said. “We need to find trust in each other and believe that the next guy will do their job.”

The Falcons’ rebuild begins with the top two leading scorers from a year ago graduating (Joe Crawford at 14 points per game and Braxton Baumberger at 11.7).


Eader returns as the team’s point guard. He is a playmaker that has the ability to create opportunities for his teammates, while also being a scoring threat.

Eader is the team’s leading returner in free throws made (24) and 3s (17).

Papiska is one of the team’s leading shooters from the perimeter.

Ronowski is another returning letterman that will be expected to provide depth and scoring for the Falcons.

Dylan Jackson, along with Landon Wilmoth, are two other backcourt players that Blake hopes expand in their roles as the season progresses.


Smith was a key player for the Falcons a year ago and led the team in rebounding with 6.1 per game. He also is the team’s leading returner in field-goals made with 51.

He is an aggressive player that can get to the basket on dribble-drives and also plays good defense.

Dixon earned some varsity minutes last season as a freshman and is a player that can become a scoring option for the Falcons.

Peeple is a third returning letterman to the frontcourt. He brings speed and aggressive play.

Ben Stayer, Sam Confer and Kyle Einloth are three other players that provide early depth, but could also see their opportunities grow throughout the course of the season.


Connor Lindsay and Austin Pilny, two newcomers to the varsity roster, will be counted on to provide rebounding and defense, while taking advantage of their offensive opportunities as they arise.


Trevor Dixon, soph.


“With our entire team all under 6-foot-3, we need to rebound as a full unit. We can’t leave the glass uncontested any night of the season. Limiting second-chance points is going to be a key to keeping us in games all season long.”


“Ric Blevins will have Woodridge ready to go like previous years. BJ Sanderson, with Norton, has talented young men, who have been around a winning program. Nick Marcini and his Rockets can’t go unmentioned.”

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