Northview will try to get its winning tradition in boys basketball going again this season under a new coaching staff.
Clint Weddle, previously an assistant women’s basketball coach at Indiana State, is the Knights’ new head coach.
“It was a privilege to coach the women. It’s no different to have an opportunity to coach these guys,” Weddle said. “We have good kids that are giving their best everyday.”
The Knights have plenty of size returning to help Weddle and assistant coaches Alan Goff — like Weddle, a former Terre Haute North standout — and Chris DeHart, a former Northview standout. Kendall Sheets will coach junior varsity and Tim Sanders will handle the freshman team.
The size for the Knights includes 6-foot-6 junior Jim Mace, 6-5 junior Ethan Whitson and 6-5 junior Daniel Kimball.
“It gives us an opportunity,” Weddle said.
It’s going to be a plus at the high school level to have a couple, three guys with some good size, and guys that are very skilled as well,” Weddle said. “[Mace] has been a lot of fun to work with. Good defensively, ability to step out and shoot it. [Whitson] has got an ability to play inside and out, great hands, terrific attitude. [Kimball] is a blue-collar kid, works really hard, always around the ball and going to continue to get to the glass.”
Mace said the Knights should be pretty good on the defensive end this season.
“We should be a pretty defensively sound team,” he said. “We’re just worried about getting better every day. The coaching staff is very positive.”
Senior guard Craig Peters gives the Knights some experience returning in the backcourt as well.
“He shot the ball pretty high clip from the 3, and has provided tremendous leadership for everybody to start the season,” Weddle said.
Peters is excited for the season, adding that the team is excited about the new coaching staff.
“They’re motivators,” he said. “They come in every day helping us to get better.”
The Knights will have some newcmers battling to get in the rotation.
Travis Hakman (5-11, Jr.), Devin Clark (6-0, Jr.), Peter Tanoos (5-8, Jr.) and Christian Ellis (6-4, Jr.) are other juniors looking for playing time.
Joe Ball (5-10, So.) and Gabe Rogers (5-10, So.) also are in the mix, Weddle said.
“All have done a terrific job,” Weddle said.
A look at some of the other Western Indiana Conference teams:
• Sullivan — The Golden Arrows are coming off a third straight Western Indiana Conference title, and despite the loss of 6-7 forward Rhett Smith, now at Indiana State, the Golden Arrows will remain strong.
“It is going to be a challenge to replace that senior class with Rhett. But this group coming in, this group is 35-3 over the last two years at JV,” coach Jeff Moore said. “They’ve been together since third or fourth grade, now it's their turn to play at the varsity level.”
Junior guard Brooks Weszely (5-9, Jr.) played starter minutes last season, and Max Gregory (5-1, Jr.) and Nathan Pirtle (5-11, So.) saw time as well as the Sullivan varsity won by an average of 17 points a game last year.
The Arrows have plenty of size with 225-pound Jake Kinnaman (6-5, Jr.) and Michael Hutchcraft (6-4, Jr.) being joined by Ian Perkinson (6-3, Jr.), Jake Pirtle (6-3, Jr.), Ashton Montgomery (6-2, Jr.) and Luke McPhail (6-2, Jr.).
“We have no seniors. We've got some growing up to do, but my midway through the season, we'll be very good,” Moore said. “They just have to learn how hard you have to play at this level. Things have been pretty easy for them at the JV level. They've blown a lot of teams out. I think we'll go through some growing pains.”
Moore is enjoying the new group.
“It's always fun when you're starting over. I shouldn't say it's always fun. But when you've got some talent, it's always fun. There’s a lot of different things this team can do,” Moore said.
Among them, Moore said, is keep the Arrows atop the Western Indiana Conference.
“I think we're as good as anybody in the conference, won it the last three years. We’re definitely very strong contenders for the conference — and sectional. We'll expect the same kind of things we expected last year.”
• South Vermillion — The Wildcats are loking for continued progress under second-year coach Michael Byrum, who led the Wildcats to a 5-17 record in 2011-12.
With 6-0 senior Kaden Lawson returning, he’s got a strong leader who could help make more wins a reality. Lawson averaged 11.4 ppg, 6.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds last season.
“Kaden comes back with a lot of experience. He had a pretty good year last year and we’ll need him to have an evne better year this year,” Byrum said. “Kaden does a really good job of getting th blal to the open man. He’s got a knack for passing. He makes his teammates better.”
Jordan Branz (6-0, So.) averaged 5.8 points as a freshman.
“I expect Jordan Branz to have a good year. He’s a sophomore guard whose had an unbelievable summer and fall,” Byrum said.
Nathan Luft (6-2, Jr.) also “has put in his time in the gym. His play’s going to show it,” Byrum said.
The Wildcats have good athletes returning in the backourt, but they graduated Phillip Harpenau and Josh Vaughan from the frontcourt. Harpenau averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds last season.
“We’re more skilled than we were last year. We’re going tp lay very fast, and we’re going to play a lot of guys,” Byrum said.
Other key players for South Vermillion will be Kam Weyrauch (5-10, Jr.), Cole Morgan (6-1, So.), Logan Waldrop (6-2, So.), Dru Strayer (6-1, Fr.), Aaron Hines (6-1, Jr.), Adam Crouch (6-1, Jr.) and Tristan Spivey (5-10, Jr.).
Spivey is contending for a starting point guard role, Byrum said, as he’ll employ multiple quality ballhandlers.
“I’m pleased with where we are right now,” Byrum said. “We return eight lettermen, add freshman Dru Strayer and Crouch from football. We expect to take a next step in our pogram.”
2012-13 WIC boys basketball schedules
Nov. 21 — at Vincennes Lincoln, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 30 – Terre Haute Norht, 8 p.m.
Dec. 1 — at Brown County, 8 p.m.
Dec. 7 — West Vigo, 8 p.m.
Dec. 14 — Edgewood, 8 p.m.
Dec. 26-29 — Wabash Valley Classic
Jan. 4 — at Owen Valley, 8 p.m.
Jan. 11 — Terre Haute South, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 12 — Mooresville, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 15 — Bloomington North, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 18 — at South Vermillion, 8 p.m.
Jan. 19 — Evansville North, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 25 — Sullivan, 8 p.m.
Feb. 2 — at Plainfield, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 7 — South Putnam, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 9 — at Monrovia, 2:30 p.m.
Feb. 12 — at Greencastle, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 15 — Clay City, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 20 — at Linton, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 21 — South Knox, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 30 — Brown County, 8 p.m.
Dec. 1 — at Shakamak, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 7 — at Evansville North, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 8 — at Greencastle, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 14 — at North Central, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 15 — Linton, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 21 — Edgewood, 8 p.m.
Dec. 26-29 — Wabash Valley Classic
Jan. 5 — North Knox, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 12 — Vincennes Lincoln, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 18 — Eastern Greene, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 19 — at White River Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 25 — at Northview, 8 p.m.
Feb. 1 — Owen Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 7 — at West Vigo, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 12 — Bloomfield, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 15 — at Union, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 22 — at South Vermillion, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 21 — at Clay City, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 30 — West Vigo, 8 p.m.
Dec. 7 — at Owen Valley, 8 p.m.
Dec. 8 — at Rockville, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 15 — Greencastle, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 26-29 — Wabash Valley Classic
Jan. 4 — at Edgewood, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 5 — Seeger, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 11 — Fountain Central, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 12 — at Cascade, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 18 — Northview, 8 p.m.
Jan. 25 — Turkey Run, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 26 — at Brown County, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 1 — at North Vermillion, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 2 — at North Putnam, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 12 — at South Putnam, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 15 — Riverton Parke, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 16 — Covington, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 22 — Sullivan, 7:30 p.m.