When Springdale's boys basketball team opens its season Friday against Northgate in its tip-off tournament, it will do so with a much more experienced team.
The team struggled much of last season, going 4-17 and missing the WPIAL Class AA playoffs. But the experience it gained could be significant this season.
Six of Springdale's top eight players return. The Dynamos lost five players to graduation, but only two of them saw significant playing time.
Coach Seth Thompson said his battle-tested team has had a productive offseason.
“I definitely see improvements from what you saw last year at this time,” Thompson said. “However, we're not where we need to be yet.”
One thing that gives Springdale an advantage is its size. All of its projected starters are at least 6-foot. The team returns three starters in 6-4 senior forward Charlie Guy, 6-2 senior forward Chad Charlton and 6-3 junior guard Matt Matisko. Other projected starters are seniors Dylan McKavaney (6-3) and Brandon Stiehler.
Size is just one of the team's strengths.
“We are going to play good defense,” Thompson said. “The group has a great work ethic. Sometimes, when I'm watching them practice, they even make me tired.
“They work hard, especially with rebounding. Every single day, we're working and trying to improve on rebounding.”
Thompson said Springdale's administrative staff has been supportive in trying to get the Dynamos' basketball program back to where it once was. He credited his staff and a youth league for their continued support of the program and said they are instrumental to the development and success of the players.
Jesse Huba is a freelance writer.
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