Boys basketball takes to court with handful of players

Kelsie Horner, Staff Writer

Due to an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Kent’s boys basketball team, the Tallmadge boys basketball team will be playing with only seven players this Saturday, Feb. 6 versus Field High School. Due to most of Tallmadge’s JV and Varsity team members being quarantined after their Jan. 22 game versus Kent Roosevelt High School, five varsity players and two JV players will be playing Saturday.

“This has been a roller coaster ride of a season,” head coach Bill Johnson said.  “This weekend won’t be any different. We have five varsity players and two JV players for Saturday. Will Hudak, Ethan Taylor, Ty Hurst, Aaron Gergely, Niko Roldan, Sam Angerstein and Matt Heiglemann [are able to play].” 

COVID-19 has brought a lot of challenges to the basketball program. Since winter break, the team has only been able to have all JV and varsity players in the gym together a few times. 

“I think every year brings its challenges and you are adjusting all the time. This year might have some more unique circumstances than most so it presents some different challenges. [I] try not to let it consume me and rather just be thankful that we have kids in the gym playing and being able to be part of a team,” Johnson said.  “At times, it can be trying in a planning aspect, but our guys have never wavered. Through our first shutdown and even through a tough start to the season, they came to practice every day trying to get better and they are doing just that.” 

This Saturday, the boys take on Field High School at 1 p.m. at Field.

“As for Saturday, we are going to go out there and play as hard as we can. We are going to play together and we are going to enjoy being on the court,” Johnson said. “We are going out there to win the game, and I know all seven of our guys are going to give it everything they have to get that done. With that being said, the outcome is far less important to the fact that we get to play a game, have some fun and enjoy each other’s company one more day.” 

Senior Will Hudak said, “It will be a fun experience playing with only seven guys. Hopefully we can build on our win streak with some different guys coming back now. No matter how many guys we have, we’ve learned to just go out and play hard for as many games as we can.”