WINTERSVILLE - Perhaps no team was more impressive last season than the Indian Creek boys' basketball team. The Redskins fought through adversity all season, including a list of injured players most coaches would dream of having in their lineup, to claim a 16-6 record that included a victory against Ohio Division II Final Four-bound St. Clairsville.
This season, Coach Joe Dunlevy will rely on a starting five heavy in experience while he develops his bench depth.
''Our strength is our experienced starters and the fact that these boys play together really well,'' Dunlevy said. ''We have an unselfish, hard-working group of boys that are a credit to their school, their school district, their communities and their families.''
The starting five consists of guards Frankie Kamarec, Matt Furda, and Blake Roar along with forward Alex Young and center Shane Winland.
''Frank Kamarec is a senior and three-year starter who will earn his fourth letter,'' Dunlevy said. ''He averaged 10 points a game as a junior.
''Senior Matt Furda will earn his third letter and he started last year when (last season's starting point guard) Joe Bowers was out with an injury. He takes over at point and averaged four points last year.
''Junior Blake Roar is a two-year starter who averaged four points a game as a sophomore.
''Senior Alex Young is a three-year starter who averaged 11 points per game. He missed the second half of the season with an injury.
''Senior Shane Winland, will earn his third letter and started most of last year. He averaged seven points as a junior.''
The Redskins' bench consists of senior Drew Sullivan, juniors Cody Durbin, Johnathan Haught, Jonathan Woodbury, and Andrew Anderson along with sophomore Zac Connor. Junior Tran Huynh, sophomore Max Lewis and freshman Aaron Foldi are also on the roster.
''Our weakness is our lack of experience outside our starting line-up,'' Dunlevy said. ''We are working on developing depth and have seen some boys taking steps in the right direction.''
This senior class has won a combined 33 games over its sophomore and junior seasons with hopes high of another successful year.
''I have been living in coach's paradise the last three years,'' Dunley said. "This years senior class, along with the two classes in front of them, have been a pleasure to coach. It is a joy for me to come to practice every day and be around this group. Coaching can be fun win or lose, and it can be misery win or lose also. "
''These seniors love the game, have the mental toughness that you need to be successful, and they also have great support systems in their families. I think that if you asked me or (Indian Creek head football) Coach (Andrew) Connor what the best thing about this group is that it is truly a family atmosphere.
''They legitimately care for each other. We also are fortunate to have some very good students in this group. These boys spend a lot of time working with the boys in our elementary league and at times they look like they are coaching themselves. They understand the game and they will correct themselves when they make a mistake before the coaching staff says a word.''