Athens Seeks to Maintain Control of TVC-Ohio

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Coming off of a 20-2 finish and a spotless conference record in 2014, the Athens Bulldogs have a tough act to follow. The reigning TVC-Ohio champions have a much different roster than a year ago, but the expectations remain through the roof.

Most teams would not be able to remain competitive after losing such a successful senior class, but head coach Jeff Skinner is still optimistic about the road ahead. For the upcoming season, Skinner preaches that his bunch needs to stay consistent in all aspects of the game. Whether the focus is placed on limiting turnovers or crashing the glass, Skinner wants to see the green and gold maintain the same effort throughout the regular season.

Skinner’s excitement rests on the shoulders of his dynamic backcourt, led by junior point guard Griffin Lutz. As the floor general, Lutz is able to find the open man from anywhere on the court. In addition to his role of running the offense, his ability to take over on the offensive end and his success when attacking the basket make him a nightmare for opposing teams.

Alongside Lutz is senior guard Zacciah Saltzman. After sitting out his junior year to focus on his work on the gridiron, Saltzman returns to the team with a lot to offer. Standing at six feet, he is an electric athlete on the defensive end, while also providing the necessary scoring ability to compliment Lutz in the open court.

Looking ahead, Athens has a few key matchups to circle on its calendar. On Jan. 8 and Feb. 12, the Bulldogs will square off with the Alexander Spartans. The Albany boys finished 15-7 a season ago, just a few games behind Athens. Another one to watch will be on Feb. 6, as the Bulldogs travel to Marietta. The game will serve as a rematch of last year’s first-round postseason showdown, where the green and gold came away with a 63-48 victory.

Athens will tipoff the regular season at home on Dec. 1 in a non-conference clash with Fairfield Christian.