Preview: Trimble hoping to make noise in TVC this season

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It’s a special time of the year throughout the Tri-Valley Conference as basketball play is right around the corner. For the Tomcats out in Glouster, the man in charge is a familiar face around the Hocking but a new one to the Tomcats.

Howie Caldwell has traded in his Lancer gear for the red and white colors of the ‘Cats. But the coaching gig at Federal Hocking isn’t his first time in charge of a program. Caldwell spent 23 years at Southern and 12 years at Eastern before heading to Stewart where he spent his last three years.

The veteran coach is taking over a men’s squad that finished 10-10 overall and 9-7 in the conference in 2013.

With the short amount of time Caldwell spent with the boys in the summer, he was thoroughly impressed.

“They have very, very nice athletes up here. I really like the kids here and I’m excited to be a part of it,” Caldwell said.

The Tomcats placed fourth in the TVC-Hocking last year after playing catch up for the better half of the season due to the football team’s late playoff run.

This year, Caldwell’s program is running into the same problem. With the football team in the State Final Four, Trimble basketball is being put on hold. But the new man in charge isn’t worried that will impact his season.

“I would rather lose early if lose at all," Caldwell said. "The only thing I am concerned is we don’t want to have to play three to four games in one week. But in the long run, I’m not worried. We will just move right into it."

The Tomcats graduated nine seniors in 2013 including point guard Konner Standley and forward, Jacob Koons. Trimble has a large task replacing the two leaders, as they were vital aspects to the program.

This year, the point guard position is most likely going to be a committee spot between Justice Jenkins, Cody Jones and Bryce Guthrie.

Coach Caldwell is excited for the season to come, with high expectations in mind. He has an end goal in sight, but isn’t getting ahead of himself.

“Once we win state championship in football, we can focus on basketball,” said Caldwell.



Dave Richards is under the helm for another year as the head coach for the women’s program in Trimble. He is returning a squad that lost just two seniors in 2013.

His Lady Tomcats finished 8th in the TVC-Hocking with a 2-14 record in the conference last season. Overall, the Lady Tomcats delivered a 2-20 regular season.

Trimble saw their best work in 2013 in their final game of the year when they met South Gallia for their first-round tournament action.

Despite the five-point loss, the Lady Tomcats showed promise for the 2014 season.

They are returning junior Morgan Murphy who became an offensive standout for the ‘Cats late in 2013. In their first-round play, Murphy accounted for 14 points and set coach Richards’ hopes high for this season. Murphy will hold a big leadership position in 2014 along with senior Trista Lackey, as Trimble’s roster is incredibly young.

The season kicks off for the Lady Tomcats on Dec. 4 at Morgan High School.