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Posted On: 11/5/18 9:30 AM
Heading into the season, Ridgeway head coach Wes Henning is optimistic about what the Roadrunners will be able to accomplish this upcoming season.
Usually, when a coach has a roster with six seniors and five juniors, he or she will say ‘I have a lot of experienced and reliable players coming back.’ That’s not the case with coach Henning. He will have to play a lot of young players this upcoming season.
Ridgeway will have four sophomores playing varsity basketball this upcoming season. In the first official week of practice to kick off the 2018 high school basketball season, Henning has seen the good and bad.
“I have a lot of young players that will have to get playing time,” Henning said. “I have a lot of players that don’t have floor time. They’re going to have to get playing time. They’re skilled enough, but I haven’t seen them play against other people.”
In the past, Henning has had freshmen guards start, but they had a strong cast of upperclassmen to play alongside, making their job a smooth transition. The likes of 5-foot-7 point guard Cameron Donegain, forward Terrence Burks (6-4), and 6-7 wing Karlon Cox will be held accountable for the team’s success.
“Right now, my upperclassmen aren’t as strong as I want them to be,” Henning said. “A lot of weight will have to be on my young people. That’s just true.”
Henning will quickly find out how his young players will handle responsibility early in the season. The Roadrunners will kick off the season at home against Raleigh Egypt before hosting Bartlett in the Hall of Fame Classic. Ridgeway will also play White Station and participate in the Ultimate Preps Tournament on December 14, four days after playing at Wooddale under first-year head coach Keelon Lawson, who will be coaching his sons, Chandler and Jonathan Lawson.
In league play, teams like Southwind, Germantown, and Kirby will all be tough games for the Roadrunners’ inexperienced group of players. Henning didn’t want to put together a soft schedule for the sake of wins. He put together a tough schedule because he loves competition.
“These games are going to make them understand what they need to do, what they have to do or they’re going to accept what they can’t do or won’t do,” Henning said. “I’m not a coach that’s going to schedule wins because I have younger players.
“Ridgeway has never been afraid to play anybody since I have been here. I won the state four times, and I have never been 30-0. That means I have played teams that can play.”