One game at a time for Knight boys
Large Knight hoop roster features both veterans and newcomers
|TIM CAMPBELL is one of two captains for the Kingswood boys’ hoop team this winter. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)|
December 13, 2010WOLFEBORO — The Kingswood boys' basketball team has just one goal as the season begins.
That goal is to beat Laconia, the Knights' opponent in that first game.
"What we want to do is make sure we don't overlook anybody," coach Dan Chick said. "We were pretty good at that last year.
"Our most important goal is to beat Laconia and we have to make sure we're completely focused on our goals," Chick continued.
The Knights finished 12-6 last year and won their first round playoff game, but they also lost four seniors who were a big part of the team as well as one underclassman.
"The four seniors that we lost, the biggest loss was their leadership was tremendous," Chick said. "They gave us so much positive stuff, they were always the ones who made things happen."
However, the leadership that the seniors provided rubbed off on a number of the players who were around last year and this year the team has selected seniors Dave Hersey and Tim Campbell to be the team captains.
"Those guys are rising to the occasion, doing the same thing last year's guys were doing," Chick said. "They were good choices, in my opinion."
Chick noted that the way the team jelled last year made last season an enjoyable experience for everyone involved and he expects this year to be just as much fun.
"And to me, fun is winning, period," Chick said. "I think people are going to look at us and say we're not going to be good, but I think we are."
Chick decided to keep a large roster this year, with 16 players, including 10 seniors, on the squad. He understands that some may decide that it's not for them when the playing time doesn't come as they might expect, and he's OK with that.
"If everyone sticks around, works hard and makes each other better, what a great time we'll have," Chick said.
Leading the way for the returning players are Campbell and Hersey, both of whom saw significant time last year. Hersey will likely be starting and has earned the respect of the other players, as evidenced by his selection as captain. Campbell is a returning starter and has picked up a step from a year ago according to his coach.
Senior Joey Irvine is likely the team's starting center and Chick has been impressed with his dedication.
"I can't say enough about Joey as far as his dedication," Chick said. "He is working hard."
Everett Wyers, a forward, and Dave Velez, a guard, will also be returning to the team as seniors and will be expected to chip in.
There are also a number of new seniors. Nate Nicholas is a good athlete but is raw as a hoop player, but brings good size to the team. Tom Melnik hasn't played since his freshman year, but is a good athlete and is quick. Justin Jackson is a lefthanded guard who brings a lot of quickness. Phil Erwin will bring a lot of quickness to the backcourt and John Hooper is also expected to chip in at guard and forward.
Kohl Meyers, who broke his arm in football season, will be back as a starter and is progressing well in the recovery from his injury.
Zack McKenzie saw good time last year and Chick expects him to be a starter at guard and one of the team's top shooters.
Cam Whitcomb, Chad Peterson and Adam Fritchy are all up from the JV team and are expected to add to the team dynamic.
The team's lone sophomore is MacKenzie Tetreault, who is quick and athletic and will be counted on to do some good things for the Knights.
"I don't know if everyone will be there in March, everybody won't get all the playing time they want," Chick said. "But I'm taking a chance by keeping so many players."
However, March is a long way off and Chick and his team just has the one focus.
"Our focus is on the next game," Chick said. "That's something we need to do."
The Knights open the season with a home game against Laconia on Monday, Dec. 20, at 6:30 p.m. That is the team's lone game prior to the holiday break. They will return to action on Tuesday, Jan. 4, at Plymouth. A rematch of last year's first-round playoff game with Kearsarge comes on Jan. 7 and games with rival Kennett take place on Jan. 31 and March 1.