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Athletic Eagle Boys Basketball Team Will Depend On Underclassmen

2021-22 Eagles Boys Basketball Team… Pictured is this year’s Holden high school boys basketball team, front row, left to right, Ryan Hough, Trace Angell, Brody Haak, Tyler Barker, Carson, Agcopra, and Garett Stoyko; second row, Rett Hankins, Caleb Koehn, Wyatt VanMeter, Travis Bruns, Brody Bay, Wade VanMeter, Hunter Higgins, Cole Zillner, Lane Inglis, Kaysen Tevis, and James Richard; back row, Jackson Treece, Dom Sizemore, Josh Taylor, Garrett Smith, Aiden Morarity, Jacob Daniels, Jarrin Brown, Reco Jenkins, Tyler Hankins, Kris Outersky, and Dom Pedro; not pictured, Americo Mabrey and Kobe Opela Pugh.   Photo by Steve Edwards

Hoops action for the Holden boys basketball team is set to begin on the road this season with an away game at Concordia High School on Tuesday, Nov. 23.

Third-year head coach Nathan Martin guides an eager and willing Eagles team featuring three returning seniors, and 27 underclassmen into the fray of the regular season. “All of the guys so far have been really coachable,” says coach Martin.

“They are willing to listen, and make changes when we ask them to. “They all want to keep getting better. So far, they all understand the kind of effort that it is going to take for us to be successful, and have been willing to work hard in practice.

We had a good summer, changing the style that we play, creating more of an up-tempo pace.

I believe it is going to be more fun for the guys to play in, and hopefully leads to more success.”

Helping coach Martin guide the Eagle players this season are returning assistant coach Ryan Beenken, and first-year assistant Griffin Keller.

Beenken will serve as the head JV coach. Keller will handle C team sideline duties.

This year’s team will look to improve upon last year’s overall record of 4-21 when the Eagles allowed 53 points-per-game versus 45 ppg scored while winning no conference games in 10 chances. “We hope to improve off of last year,” remarks coach Martin. “We want our guys to continue to gain confidence.”

Gone from last year’s team due to graduation are leading scorer and all-conference player Daniel Taylor, Levi Rockhold, Avery Graves, Adam Comer, and Tanner Atkins.

Seniors who return to this year’s team to fill the void left by last year’s graduates include Jarrin Brown, Hunter Higgins, and Jacob Daniels.

Brown and Higgins both started varsity games last season. “Hunter and Jarrin are both leaders who lead by example,” notes coach Martin. “They show up, and are two of the hardest workers every time they are on the floor.”

Underclassmen who return this season include juniors Josh Taylor, Garrett Smith, and Tyler Hankins; and sophomores Aiden Morarity and Reco Jenkins.

The names of likely leaders on this year’s squad come from that core group of returning players. “Aiden Morarity will have a bigger role this year,” says coach Martin. “We will be relying on him a lot on the offensive, and defensive side of the floor, even though he is only a sophomore. “We will be counting on Josh Taylor to help us on the offensive side of the floor, using his athleticism to get to the rim. “Garrett Smith will need to help us rebounding the ball on both sides of the floor,” continues coach Martin. “Reco Jenkins has emerged as a vocal leader for us. He communicates effectively on both sides of the floor.”

Starting roles, and minutes on the court are up for grabs, according to the head coach. “We have a mix of about eight guys all fighting for starting positions,” says coach Martin. “I have told the guys in practice that the spots are up for grabs for whoever wants to take them before our first game on November 23rd.”

As the team looks to boost its offensive output this season, the athleticism of the team will come into play. “Aiden Morarity will be an offensive leader for us,” confirms coach Martin. “He uses his size well to get into the lane, and score. He also shoots the ball well from mid-range, and from three-point range. “Josh Taylor is athletic, and can get to the rim and also shoot the three when left open. “Hunter, Jarrin, Reco, and Garrett Smith could all be threats in transition.”

Teamwork on the court looks to be key when the Eagles are looking to limit opposing offenses. “Hunter, Jarrin, Reco, and Garrett all do a great job of communicating, and working together on defense,” says coach Martin. “They are understanding how, and when to go give help when off the ball.”

As the underclassmen develop under the guidance of returning starters Higgins and Brown, and the team scraps for success this season, coach Martin points to the team’s work ethic as a key. “We will have to outwork the other team every time we play,” says the head coach. “We will have to have a short memory when we make mistakes, and also play with confidence, if we want to be successful.” As noted, the team begins the upcoming season on the road at Concordia on Tuesday, November 23. “I want us to come out with energy and confidence,” says coach Martin in regard to the season opener. “Things are not going to be perfect in our first game of the season, especially on the offensive side of the floor. I want us to be able to play through mistakes.” The Eagles’ season opener at Concordia on Tuesday, November 23 tips off with a JV game at 5:30 p.m.

The varsity contest follows with an approximate start time of 7.

2021-22 Holden Eagles Boy Basketball Roster Name

Jarrin Brown Senior

Hunter Higgins Senior

Jacob Daniels Senior

Garrett Smith Junior

Josh Taylor Junior

Tyler Hankins Junior

Travis Bruns Junior

Dom Sizemore Junior

Americo Mabrey Junior

Aiden Morarity Sophomore

Kobe Opela Pugh Sophomore

James VanMeter Sophomore

Reco Jenkins Sophomore

Brody Bay Sophomore

Cole Zillner Sophomore

Lane Inglis Sophomore

James Richard Sophomore

Anthony VanMeter Sophomore

Kaysen Tevis Freshman

Trace Angell Freshman

Brody Haak Freshman

Tyler Barker Freshman

Ryan Hough Freshman

Carson Agcopra Freshman

Rett Hankins Freshman

Kristopher Outersky Freshman

Dom Pedro Freshman

Garrett Stoyko Freshman

Jackson Treece Freshman

Caleb Koehn Freshman

Upcoming Holden HS Sports Schedule Boys Basketball

• Thurs., 11/18: Holden at Kingsville Jamboree, 5:30 p.m.

• Tues., 11/23: Holden at Concordia, JV at 5:30, V at 7.

• Tues., 11/30: Sherwood at Holden, JV at 5 p.m., V at 7.

• Wed., 12/1: Holden at Osceola, JV at 5 p.m., V at 6:30.

• Fri., 12/3: Crest Ridge at Holden, JV at 5:30 p.m., V at 7 Girls Basketball

• Wed., 11/17: Holden Jamboree vs Crest Ridge and Pleasant Hill, at Holden, 5:30 p.m.

• Tues., 11/30: Sherwood at Holden, V only at 6 p.m.

• Wed., 12/1: Oak Grove at Holden, JV at 5:30 p.m., V at 7.

• Thurs., 12/2: Holden at Crest Ridge, JV at 5:30 p.m., V at 7. Boys Wrestling

• Tues., 11/30: Holden at Center HS, quad (Center, Nevada, St. Joseph Lafayette), 5:30 p.m.

• Wed., 12/1: Holden at Butler HS, triangular, (Butler, Oak Grove), 5 p.m.

• Sat., 12/4: Holden at Knob Noster Tournament, 9 a.m. Girls Wrestling

• Tues., 11/30: Holden at Center HS, quad (Center, Nevada, St. Joseph Lafayette), 5:30 p.m.

• Wed., 12/1: Holden at Butler HS, triangular, (Butler, Oak Grove), 5 p.m.

• Fri., 12/3: Holden at Pleasant Hill Tournament, time TBD.

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