Season Outlook: Nelsonville-York Buckeyes

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An early exit from last season’s district tournament has Nelsonville-York craving redemption.

The Buckeyes fell to Crooksville in the 2012-13 District Quarterfinals, ending their year at 16-7 and finishing third place in the TVC-Ohio.

This year, however, N-Y has their sights set on a conference championship.

“We definitely want to compete for a TVC-Ohio Title,” said head coach Jay Kline. “We fell a short of that goal last year in a game that we felt we should’ve won. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but hopefully we can chalk that up to experience and learn something from it.”

The Buckeyes look to get off to a strong start by focusing on making improvements every day.

“We don’t want to be as good tomorrow as we are today,” said Kline. “So at the beginning of the season, you’re going to see some rustiness, but by tournament time, you’re going to want to be firing on all cylinders.”

In order to do so, N-Y will have to fill positions left by six departed players, four of them starters. This includes the transfer of junior Emmitt Reed, who was named to the Hardwood Heroes Boys All-Hero Team for Athens County last season.

“Yeah, we acknowledge that we will miss Emmitt and we wish him the best, but we are still going to play games and our approach is to move forward,” said Kline.

Although it’s early in the season, Kline said he already has an idea of who he believes his starting group will be, but the talent on this team goes far beyond five players.

“We’ve got a lot of great players,” said senior captain Josh Fayette. “They all are going to step up.”

Kline added that the Buckeyes will continue to focus on the fast break attack, stemming off high-pressure defense.

“We want to run when we are able to and we want to transition when that opportunity presents itself,” said Kline. “We are still a team that hangs their hat on their transition and their defense.”

According to Kline, the Buckeyes will try to keep constant pressure on the ball in order to force turnovers. N-Y will also look to crash the glass and secure rebounds to kick-start their fast break attack.

No matter the opponent, Kline wants his Buckeyes to enter each game with high focus and intensity.

“It’s not who we play, it’s how we play,” said Kline.