WEST VALLEY — There have been a lot of moving parts on the West Valley Central School boys junior varsity basketball team, and it started with first-year coach Brian Clayback. Clayback takes over the team that was led by Kris Fuller, last season. That team will be headed up by sophomore point guard Matt Proctor.
“He’s a leader for us. The other players look to him, as a role model, and want to up their game, based on his work ethic,” Clayback said. “He gives positive feedback and encouragement, throughout practice and the scrimmages, so far. He can drive to the bucket, as well as being an outside threat.”
Another guard Clayback will lean on is sophomore Justin Summers.
“He’s more of a shooter, but someone that can dish the ball off, as well,” said the coach. “He likes to penetrate into the point and then dish the ball off to an open teammate.”
Dan Colf will play guard, as well. Clayback called him a “feisty” player, who is aggressive on both ends of the floor. Nick King is a hybrid forward that has the versatility to play in the post, as well as the backcourt, the coach noted. Rin Tojo is new to basketball, but Clayback said he has been impressed with the player’s work ethic.
“He brings a lot of heart to our team,” Clayback added, about Tojo.
“Although he doesn’t have an excellent grasp of the game, he’s a hard worker and wants to develop his basketball skills.”
The Wildcats’ two starting forwards include Chad Boldt and Jacob Kearney, both freshmen.
“I’m really looking forward to some strong post play by them, this year,” said Clayback. “I’ve seen a lot of development, over the first few weeks of practice, in their abilities to box out and get rebounds for us. Offensively, I want them to get in position to get second-chance opportunities inside.”
Clayback will look for Caleb Gerwitz to be the team’s sixth man and the first player off the bench. Clayback added that his team lacks a little size, but not speed. He will look to take advantage of that by playing man-to-man defense, early in games, but drop back into zone because of a lack of depth, with only eight players on the roster.
“The No. 1 objective for everyone [is] to develop their skills, throughout the season,” said Clayback. “We want these guys to learn the game, so when it’s time to go to varsity, they’re ready to step into roles.”
West Valley opened the season on Dec. 3, against Clymer.