Young Golden Eagle squad ready for challege of competitive OCC boys Capital basketball campaign
By GARY HENERY
News Managing Editor
Will youth have its day on the hardwood at Big Walnut this season?
A young Golden Eagle basketball squad, under the direction of second-year head coach Eric Myers, is looking forward to the challenge of competing in what promises to be a very competitive Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division boys basketball race.
Myers, who led Big Walnut to a 12–10 mark last season, returns only three returning letter men, all starters, from a team that tied Delaware Hayes for fourth place with a 7–7 record in the OCC Capital Division a year ago.
Back for the Golden Eagles are 6-foot-6 senior Adam Shaheen, 6–1 senior Zach Laughman and 6–2 senior Carson Chatterton. Shaheen averaged 8.5 points and a team-leading 7.6 rebounds per game, Laughman averaged 6.2 points and Chatterton 2.4 points and 2.6 rebounds.
Shaheen, who returns after earning Honorable Mention All-OCC Capital Division and All-District 11 honoree, joins Laughman and Chatterton as one-year letter winners.
Shaheen was presented with the Rebound Award, Chatterton the Hustle Award and Laughman was the recipient of the Most Improved Player Award
“The Capital Division schedule will be a grind night in and night out,” Myers said. “Especially with the addition of Olentangy to what was already a strong division.”
Olentangy Orange and Mount Vernon shared the division title with 11–3 records. New Albany claimed this place with a 10–4 mark.
“New Albany and Mount Vernon are traditionally very strong and both programs return key players,” Myers said. “Hayes has guard Mike Wells back who has the potential to be one of the most exciting players in Central Ohio and will keep Delaware in contention.”
Big Walnut will have to overcome inexperience with the loss of four seniors, including Grant Beam, Tyler Beam and Seth Wandling as well as Trent Martin.
Tyler Beam, a four-year letter winner, was the recipient of the Golden Eagle Award while Grant Beam, a three-year letter winner, earned the Defensive Player of the Year Award. Wandling was a three-year letter winner and Martin a one-year letter winner.
Grant Beam, who averaged a team-leading 12.4 points per game last season, capped his Big Walnut career by being selected a First Team All-OCC Capital Division, First Team All-District 11 and Division II Third Team All-Central District. Tyler Beam, who backed Grant Beam by averaging 9.4 points per game, a Special Team All-OCC, Second Team All-District 11 and Division II Honorable Mention All-Central District honoree.
“Our lack of varsity experience will certainly be a challenge, especially early in the season,” Myers said.
Last season, the Golden Eagles overcame a 2–6 start to win 10 of their last 13 starts before losing to Bishop Watterson in the Division II Central District Sectional finals
Myers will look to seven newcomers, including 6–0 junior Logan Boyd, 6–2 junior Jeremy Bok, 5–11 junior Nick Herbert, 6–3 sophomore Zac Asher, 6–0 junior Chase LaVeer, 5–9 junior Grant Burks and 5–10 sophomore Michael Buckles, to fill the holes and give the Golden Eagles needed depth.
Boyd, Herbert, Asher, LaVeer, Burks and Buckles earned junior Varsity letters as members of the Golden Eagle reserve squad last season.
Big Walnut opens its 2012–13 season on Friday, November 30, traveling to Buckeye Valley for a 7:30 p.m. non-conference contest with the host Barons. The Golden Eagles open their home schedule on Monday, December 3, in a non-league contest with Utica at 7:30 p.m.
Myers’ troops make their OCC Capital Division debut on Friday, December 7 with rival Olentangy. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m.