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Athenians will re-tool with young squad

Cale Coursey is the lone returning starter for Crawfordsville this season. He'll provide senior leadership both on and off the court.


Crawfordsville boys basketball will look drastically different this season. The Athenians graduate all but one player (senior Cale Coursey) from a 17-6 team a year ago. The good news for Athenian fans? They bring up a junior varsity team that went 20-1 a season ago. While the varsity game is drastically different there’s reason to be optimistic about this year’s CHS team. Head coach David Pierce will enter his 13th season at the helm of the Athenians and talked about what the season might have in store.

“Cale Coursey has great varsity experience and he’s finally healthy which excited us about what he can do,” Pierce said of his lone senior. “You add him to that JV team that went 20-1 and there’s a sense of confidence with this group. I think as long as they can stay hungry and not settle or be entitled we’ll be fine. We haven’t seen that because these guys have been working really hard.”

The team will feature the likes of sophomore Alec Saidian, Kaden Patton, Ethan McLemore, Kale Wemer, and Kaiden Underwood just to name a few. Expect this Athenian team, while they may not have size like in year’s past, to be one that uses their athletic ability to their advantage. That’s one advantage that Pierce sees but there are also plenty of potential problems that could arise as well.

“The biggest hurdle for us will probably learning how to play varsity level defense on both sides,” Pierce said. “That goes for when we’re playing defense as well as figuring out how teams are defending us. There’s a lot of things you can do at the JV level to get away with some things. Alec has had one of the most amazing summer’s we’ve ever seen as he’s developed his game tremendously.”

It will definitely take some time as there will be a feeling out process for this young Athenian team as they work out the rotations and begin to gel as a group. Pierce eluded to a few goals that he hopes this team are able to accomplish as they build for a better future.

“Our kids have really high goals for themselves but we as coaches are trying to make them realize what it takes to achieve those goals,” Pierce said. “We understand the potential is there for us. The Sugar Creek and county are both wide open. We look at our schedule and hope that we can be .500 or better. There’s high expectations next year. We may not achieve that and it could go the other way for us. It’ll just be real interesting to see how things play out.”

CHS kicks off its 2022-23 season on Tuesday with trip to Greencastle for a girl/boy doubleheader.

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