It was a rough season to say the least for North Montgomery boys basketball a season ago. Multiple pauses due to COVID-19 combined with a team with not much varsity experience saw the Chargers season end with a 2-12 record.
This season for third-year coach Chad Arnold and his squad, they hope to build off a season ago where many young players saw action.
“Those guys were getting used to our system and getting varsity experience when you’re that young goes a long way,” Arnold said. “Hopefully we can use that and it will help us out early in the season.”
Two of the returning players are brothers Jakob and Jarrod Kirsch. Jakob averaged right around nine points per game while Jarrod averaged eight a season ago for North Montgomery.
Arnold isn’t necessarily focused on wins and losses with his team. He sees the goal is to get his guys to compete in games more than they did a season ago.
“We just want them to compete and play hard,” Arnold said. “If we do that we could give ourselves a chance at the end of games to win.”
Juniors Colton Zachary and Ryder Punke will be called upon to also be key contributors for the Chargers this season. Sophomores Ross Dyson and Paul Leuking will be joined by a senior group that features Jakob Kirsch, Nolan Graham, Treyce Pittman and Benjamin Pietsch.
“We’ve got some guys that can stretch the floor pretty well,” Arnold said of his team. “Jakob is going to be a great player for us as a senior who will run point. Ross Dyson will help out with some point guard duties also then Jarrod Kirsch and Colton Zachary are just some of the guys who can shoot it well. Our bigs will help bring some energy so I’m really excited with the guys we have. We just have to learn how to play together and learn our system more.”
The Chargers open their season at home against Speedway. The Sparkplugs handled the North Montgomery a season ago 75-35. Drew Valentine was the Sparkplugs leading scorer a season ago averaging 19 points per game. With him graduating they’ll look to some of their returning guys to fill the shoes and Arnold knows it’ll be another tough matchup.
“They’ve got two guys in Reis Walker and Nate Matelic who can both. Reis is a tough player to guard who loves to go to the rim and Nate’s 6’5 who can shoot and play around on the perimeter so we’ll have to really guard those two guys and control the boards to be successful.”
The schedule for the Charges after their season opener heats up in a big way as they’ll host county rival Southmont in their second game of the season for the Chargers.
“We play 3A basketball so there’s not many teams out there who are easy to beat,” Arnold said. “It’ll be a challenge and I know South’s a really good team, but we’re just going to take it one game at a time and Speedway is the focus right now and focus on bettering ourselves each and every day.”