Flyers will sport new look
Last season, the St.
Thursday, December 02, 1999
Last season, the St. Joe Flyers relied on the clutch performance of Joe Dressel who racked up 25 points and 10 rebounds a game and earned Southeast District Player of the Year honors along with a first team All-Ohio selection.
Dressel had the ability to single-handedly take over a game and the Flyers would let him. That philosophy helped St. Joe post a 14-7 record, its best mark since 1952.
But the 6-foot-4 Dressel is gone via graduation along with 6-6 Mike Taber and 6-5 Karl Hoffman. Second-year head coach Kevin Sheridan said the total team concept is the key this season.
"We went from all kinds of tall guys to none. We’ll have a totally different look," said Sheridan. "But hopefully we can build on what we accomplished last year and move forward."
Sheridan, who was named the Associated Press Division IV state Coach of the Year for his efforts last season, will rely mainly on four seniors: John "Bub" Waginger, Eric Waginger, Andy Stack, and Matt Frazer. Both Wagingers were starters last season.
"We have four seniors who will play big roles for us. After that we have a junior, a sophomore, and a freshman who will play in the mix," said Sheridan. "We’ve got a chance to be pretty good if everyone stays healthy. Depth will be a problem every year. We can go seven deep, but we’ll be awful young and inexperience after the seniors."
Picking up the scoring will be the first task at hand and Sheridan said it will take a team effort. However, he said Eric Waginger has the potential.
"Eric is very much capable of scoring. We just need him to take an offensive mind set," said Sheridan.
"Bub at point guard will give us some good quality minutes on both ends of the floor. He’s not a scorer and that’s not his role, but he’s capable of knocking down a few shots. He’s shooting better than he was last year."
Frazer, whose speed and athleticism will make up for his 6-foot frame inside, can score or play point guard. Sheridan likes his versatility.
"He’ll be around the basket, but he’ll have to play outside some. He’ll back up Bub. He’s been playing pretty well and he’s shown some leadership," said Sheridan.
Returning to the starting lineup is 6-1 sophomore Bill Dressel, but he has been slowed by a knee injury sustained during the Flyers soccer season.
"Bill’s finally practicing, but he’s still a little gimpy. Once you get him in the mix, it gives you one more option offensively. He’s grown up a lot, but it’s hard to tell how far along he is because of the injury. He knows what to do, but he’s not in shape yet. Once he gets healthy, he’ll be a big factor for us," said Sheridan.
The other starter will be either Stack or junior Rusty Yaniko depending on the situation. Sheridan said both will get extensive play.
"Stack is a lot better. He’s playing with a lot more confidence and he can step out and shoot the ball. He’s only 5-10, but he jumps well . He’ll be called on to rebound and play defense," said Sheridan.
"Rusty got a late start but he’s busted his tail and he gets in there and bangs on you. He’s another role player that you have to have. He’s smart and he knows what to do," said Sheridan.
Young players will make up the bench for the Flyers. Sheridan will turn to sophomores Joey Laber and Chris Carte and freshmen Chris Laber and Danny Stack.
"Chris Laber is only a freshman, but he will give us some depth and he’s a big body we can put in there," Sheridan said. "He knows he’s in the game to set screens, to rebound, and to play defense. He moves pretty well for a big kid and he has good hands and feet for a kid his age.
"Joey Laber will play inside and Carte and (Danny) Stack give us some depth at the guard position."
Although the Flyers were 14-7 and have three starters back, Sheridan said a tougher schedule could prevent a repeat performance.
"Rock Hill and Coal Grove will be better than people think, Notre Dame can score, Symmes Valley has a lot of talent, New Boston has most of its team back, Green has three starters and a strong bench, and Huntington St. Joe is pretty tough. We’ve got our work cut out for us," Sheridan said.