When the Meadowbrook High boys “take it outside”, they're not
looking to pick a fight…they're planning to beat you from the
perimeter. Not a lot of experience returns as Keith Arnold begins his
fourth year as head coach of the Colts, but there's a lot of depth on
hand as MHS looks to better last year's 13-8 record.
When the Meadowbrook High boys “take it outside”, they're not looking to pick a fight…they're planning to beat you from the perimeter.
Not a lot of experience returns as Keith Arnold begins his fourth year as head coach of the Colts, but there's a lot of depth on hand as MHS looks to better last year's 13-8 record.
“We lost seven seniors from last year and we've only got a couple of guys with varsity experience,” Arnold stated, “so we'll have a lot of guys getting their first shot at the varsity level.”
Arnold & Co. hope to take full advantage of deep, athletic squad.
“We feel like we have a talented group,” he said, “and we're more athletic and can get up and down the floor a little bit. We'll be more of a perimeter team than in the past and defensively, our athleticism will allow us to be more aggressive.
“I think we can go nine or 10 deep and that will be one of our strengths,” added Arnold, who is 41-26 in his first three years at MHS. “This group's got a lot of energy to them and they're pretty fired up to get started.”
A couple of keys to the Colts' success will be maintaining a high level of defensive play and improved rebounding, according to Arnold.
“The biggest thing for us is we're going to have to be able to defend consistently,” the MHS coach related. “That's something we've been able to hang our hat on the last couple of years and I expect this to be a good defensive team again this year.
“Rebounding will be a key for us as well.”
The Colts will count heavily for scoring and leadership on senior forward Philip Biggs (6-5), a 13.7-point per game scorer a year ago who is rounding back into form after suffering a shoulder injury early in the football season.
Following his junior year, Biggs received a host of accolades, including all-Ohio Division II special mention; all-Eastern District Division II, OVAC Class 3-A, ECOL and District 12 first team.
Other Meadowbrook seniors include point guard Nick Hudson (5-7); guard Brooks Penrod; guard-forward Brock Miracle (5-10); forward Jarod Gray (5-10), forward Joey Deliz (5-10) and forward Cody Fehrman (5-10). Miracle returns after missing the last two years due to football injuries.
Juniors on the squad include forward Nick Yakubik (5-10) and guard Justin Haught (5-10).
A solid group of sophomores figures to contribute significantly, including guards Jeramie Neff (5-9) and Logan Pepper (5-8); guard-forwards Ethan Shriver (6-0) and Alex Robertson (6-1); and forward Tyler Oliver (6-3).
“We'll count on Phil to score obviously,” Arnold said, “but we've got some other guys who can put points on the board like Brock Miracle, Jeramie Neff and Ethan Shriver. Nick (Hudson) will really help us at the point. He'll be one of the fastest kids in the league and he's an excellent balllhandler who sees the floor well.”
Yakubik, Haught, Pepper and Oliver figure to split time with the reserve squad.
Also suiting up for junior varsity action are four sophomores – guards Andrew Nichols (5-9) and Steve Minyo (5-9); and forwards Aaron Wickham (5-10 and Case Fehrman (6-0). Center Eli Pesuit (6-4) will miss the season due to injury.
Graduation claimed seven players from last year's MHS squad, headed by Shawn Mitchell, who gained first team District 12, second team ECOL and honorable mention Eastern District and OVAC Class 3-A honors; Joey Hanes, second team District 12 and honorable mention ECOL honoree; and Adam Daugherty, who was honorable mention OVAC and District 12.
Also gone are Aaron Eibel, Ricky Doutt, Sean Beskid and Coty Ingram.
Arnold looks for his team to show steady improvement throughout the season.
“We talk about team goals,” he said, “but we want to improve every week and be at our best come tournament time.”
The Colts' coach says Dover is the team to beat in the East Central Ohio League this year.
“Dover, on paper, is probably going to be the best in the league,” he offered. “I'd put us, Claymont, Coshocton and Cambridge in the mix, too. I think our league is up for grabs and it'll be who executes and has their young kids grow up the quickest.”
Schedule changes for the Colts include a pair of games added with Barnesville replacing single games with Zanesville and Linsly. In addition to the Shamrocks, non-ECOL games for Meadowbrook include two each with Buckeye Trail and Shenandoah.
MHS tips off the season Friday, Nov. 30 at home against ECOL foe Dover.
Friday, Nov. 30 – Dover (H)
Tuesday, Dec. 4 – Barnesville (A)
Friday, Dec. 7 – Coshocton (H)
Tuesday, Dec. 11 – Indian Valley (H)
Friday, Dec. 14 – Cambridge (A)
Friday, Dec. 21 – River View (A)
Saturday, Dec. 22 – Buckeye Trail (H)
Thursday, Dec. 27 – Shenandoah (A)
Friday, Jan. 4 – New Philadelphia (A)
Tuesday, Jan. 8 – Barnesville (H)
Friday, Jan. 11 – Claymont (H)
Tuesday, Jan. 15 – Dover (A)
Friday, Jan. 18 – Coshocton (A)
Saturday, Jan. 19 – John Marshall (H)
Tuesday, Jan. 22 – Indian Valley (A)
Friday, Jan. 25 – Cambridge (H)
Tuesday, Jan. 29 – River View (H)
Friday, Feb. 1 – New Philadelphia (H)
Saturday, Feb. 2 – Buckeye Trail (A)
Friday, Feb. 8 – Claymont (A)