By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
159-199 career record
Coaching Staff: Kate Swango, varsity assistant; Jaclyn Mahoney, junior varsity; Ashley Shaheen, freshman; Jeremy Bish, varsity assistant; Leah Reeves, varsity assistant; Kevin Hockett, strength and conditioning.
2021-22 Record: 9-14 overall; 4-10 Suburban League American Conference.
Returning Letterwinners (7): Lexie Canning, sr.; Ari Crockett, sr.; Katie Keller, sr.; Saniya Moxley, sr.; Taylor Dunlap, sr.; Arie Wilson, jr.; Julia Nash, soph.
Letterwinners Lost (3): Megan Moser, Claire Bother, Maya Sheller.
The Rough Riders have two things that most teams are always looking for: Size and speed.
The key for Roosevelt will be taking advantage of those two gems.
“I consider ourselves somewhat of a throwback team that has traditional guards, forwards and centers more than many teams these days,” Foreman said. “So we need to take advantage of that both offensively and defensively.”
Foreman’s senior class, which has played a lot of basketball together throughout their careers, appears primed and ready to have a solid season.
“If everyone is working together as one, and we remain healthy, we can have a successful season,” Foreman said.
The backcourt is filled with depth, playmaking and 3-point sharpshooters.
Ari Crockett, a senior, averaged 10.1 points per game last year and also was the team leader in assists (3.5 per game).
“Ari is a playmaker, who has plans to play at the next level. She has an amazing gift of getting to the basket or getting a 3 when needed,” Foreman said.
Senior Katie Keller is the team’s best defender that also is an excellent shooter and was tied for the team lead in made 3s last year with 34.
“Katie is the emotional heart of our team,” Foreman said.
Senior Jamison Stewart will also get a time in the backcourt — and for a full season, too, after she had to sit out half of last year per the OHSAA’s transfer rules.
“Jamie is one of the best hustle players we have,” Foreman said.
Junior Arie Wilson will be a “huge asset on both ends of the floor,” according to Foreman.
“She is an exceptional shooter and even better defensively,” Foreman said.
Sophomore Julia Nash is a true point guard, with above-average court vision and passing ability.
Senior Lexie Canning is a great all-around small forward, with great shooting range. Alongside Keller, she tied for the team lead in made 3s a year ago with 34. Canning is also a great ball-handler and led the team in rebounding at 7.8 per game last season.
“She can literally play any spot on the floor,” Foreman said.
Junior Maddie Van Damme will also contribute for the Riders.
“Maddie is a great hustle athlete, who has a knack for finishing around the basket and the lost art of the mid-range jumpshot.”
Roosevelt’s roster is filled with its tallest players since their last league-championship teams from when they were members of the Portage Trail Conference.
At any one time, the Riders could place players on the court that stand 6-foot-2, 6-1, 6-0 and 5-11.
Saniya Moxley highlights the post players as a player that can finish around the basket, rebound and has excellent shot-blocking ability.
Senior Taylor Dunlap changes the flow of games by running the floor. She can also rebound and block shots well.
Juniors Kinsey Crawford and Zariyah Taylor logged successful JV seasons last year and should get minutes this season.
Freshman Claire Van Damme also could be in the mix.
“We have three players that have been starters for four straight years. It is hard to remember days when they weren’t part of the team and their leadership and personalities have helped not only our team, but also inspired the youth in Kent to love the game with their inspiration and motivation coaching within the Kent Youth Basketball Association,” Foreman said.
Brooklynn Wade, soph.; Claire Van Damme, fresh.
Play hard. Play smart. Play together.
It is the same program motto since Foreman took over 17 years ago.
“As a coach, you are never satisfied, so this group will be pushed, but I feel they are up for the challenge,” Foreman said. “Since I know these girls are ready, I don’t have any real concerns.”
“This entire league is always tough and challenging,” Foreman said of the Suburban League. “Highland has to be mentioned, as they won the league last year and were undefeated and return a ton of players. We feel that we will be right there as well — and that is our goal and mindset.”
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