GLADWIN – Experience is the keystone in the arch of victory. These G’s are seasoned vets. With ten returning starters, expect to see these G’s flying high.
“This years team has more returning players than we have ever had since I have been at Gladwin. Our key loss is Ryan Balzer. Ryan was a co-captain and a very steady starter for us. All that Ryan contributed in leadership and effort is not easily replaced,” said Coach Kirk Taylor. Returning All-Everything Chris Smalley is starting his 3rd season as a varsity player. Smalley is bringing his sweet stroke, his defensive tenacity, and leadership back for a conference run.
“Chris is the total package, a complete player,” commented Coach Taylor. The core seniors of Ryan Beuadoing, Derek Lathrop, James Hang, Nathan Feuerstein and Dustin Stanton are all returning looking to end their high school career on a high note.
Last years tough sophomores will be returning as well. A year older and a year wiser are Kenny Malmo, Cody French and Shawn Wilson. This year’s sole sophomore is Kegan Smith. Rocket arm Smith tore it up on the grid iron this year, and he will be a bull off the boards this year. A hustler last year, Kegan made the most of his opportunities.
Last year’s solid JV team will be moving up. “Jordan Jablonski and Jon Coats are working very hard and making nice progress,” said Coach Taylor. “All of our players have worked hard to improve their individual skills since last season. The challenge for us is to get a deep team like we have to function 5 as 1 on the court. Our players have a lot of confidence in their abilities, sometimes maybe too much.”
With all the fire power this team will be bringing to the court, patience will be the main ingredient.
“Patience will be key for us. If we can wait to get each other open and only take high percentage shots we will become a very good basketball team,” said Coach Taylor.
The G-Men will start the season when they square off against the Falcons of Ogemaw Heights Tuesday, Dec 9.
Tip off is 7:30 p.m. at Ogemaw.
By Clint Kern
BEAVERTON – If you enjoy tradition and like success stories, you should come over to Beaverton High School and witness a Beaver varsity basketball game. Look through the decorated trophy case, enjoy the Beaver shuffle/slide of warm-ups and absorb the fundamentally sound basketball. Not to mention the comic relief of head coach Roy Johnston’s passionate tirades on the sidelines.
“We’ll have to play well to beat anybody on our schedule,” said Hall of Fame Coach Roy Johnston. “Although, I think we have more talent than what people are expecting out of us this year.”
Adam Broka, the 5’9”, quick as a cat senior guard will hope to mellow his team with his reliable handles and ignite the club with his explosions into the lane. The spirited seniors Kevin LaDuke and Dillon Weadock will aid the backcourt. Jared Blades, is a sky-walking junior who played tough on the boards for the varsity last season as a sophomore. Cole Blades is this year’s sophomore sensation and will play much on the blocks. Watch out for the rainbow threes and high arcing floaters from junior Scott Streeter. Other juniors who will contribute include: Tony Stornello, Drew Longstreth, Tyler Herkel, Thomas Nitcher and Ramone Torrez.
Newcomer to the program is DeShawn Cohn, the 6’3” sophomore center, should be effective on the interior. Josh Newman is also playing varsity basketball as a speedy sophomore. The Beavers have a significant void to fill considering the steady Jason Blades and Ryan Longstreth are now in college. Longstreth's long-range assault carried Beaverton to the district finals last season, where they fell to an enormous McBain team. This year’s crop of players just might have enough moxy to fend off the Ramblers in the districts. Roy’s boys will compete with Meridian, Rosco and Gladwin for the Jack Pine bragging rights.
Come out and watch the Beavers face off against the Coleman Comets on Tuesday, Dec 9.
Tip off will be at 7:30 p.m.