By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
122-124 career record
• Coaching Staff: John Herchek, assistant; Gavin English, JV.
• 2022-23 Record: 16-9 overall; 8-6 Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference.
• Returning Lettermen (4): Drew Flarida, sr.; Jackson Eichler, sr.; Kyle Werbeck, sr.; Kaii Warren, sr.
• Lettermen Lost (5): Navarre Alhassan, Ryan Wise, Anthony Podojil, Aiden Hall, Josh Ross.
The Vikings will need to be disciplined this season, with only one true post player and a lack of players that can create their own offense.
“We will have to surround our big with shooters,” said Wise, who anticipates that his team will probably shoot more 3s than in previous years.
“We don’t really have a guy that can create his own offense, so we will run a lot of sete plays to get guys in position to score.”
Two key playmakers, Navarre Alhassan and Ryan Wise, along with one of the team’s primary shooting threats, Anthony Podojil, have all graduated.
It will provide an opportunity for some new faces to step into leading roles this season for the Vikings.
Only Eichler has considerable varsity experience, though, with Werbeck, Warren, along with Landon McClain and Trevor Simons all relatively new to varsity action.
“It is a hard working group, and I think they will lead us, especially at the defensive end of the floor.”
The 6-foot-4 Flarida is the lone true post player that Wise referenced above.
He is a three-year letterman and nearly averaged a double-double last season.
“He has the most experience on our team and really our only size.”
Flarida is great at creating offense through offensive rebounding and hustle plays in transition.
Gage Hawley and Drew Hawks are two other players that will provide an impact in the frontcourt.
“They are new to the varsity team this year and are a little undersized. Gage can shoot the 3 and is a good athlete. We will have to run sets to get our forwards in good scoring position.”
Trevor Simons, jr.; Landon McClain, jr.; Gage Hawley, jr.
“Our lack of experience and size. We are going to start four guards 5-foot-10 and under. We need guys to grow into varsity players very quickly.”
“This is the first year in quite awhile that I am not sure there is a true front-runner going into the season. The league is going to be balanced from top to bottom.”