A Fresh Start to an Old Program: Mariemont Boys Basketball


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BY CORBEN SHOEMAKER

After losing all five starting seniors and an entire coaching staff in the season prior, a commonly used term to describe the team in the 2018-19 season is “underdogs.”

At this point in the season (2/11/19), the Mariemont boys basketball program is 8-12. According to MaxPreps, the boys are currently ranked 499th out of 842 teams in the state of Ohio.

Dougherty boxing out. (PHOTO BY SPOONER)

Jacob Dougherty, a senior forward, said, “I like being the underdogs, it gives us a chance to show the doubters our potential.”


What the ranking doesn’t tell is the boys successes in light of doubt. As the Warriors lost to the undefeated Wyoming Cowboys (1/8/19) by only seven points in the final minutes. They also went into overtime with prior undefeated state champions Deer Park Wildcats (1/11/19). “We went into the Deer Park game knowing we had nothing to lose”, Dougherty claimed, “we went in confident so we played up to their level.”

After losing a majority of the team to age, the team is younger and less experienced when it comes to the varsity level. “We are young, we know that, but we’re talented and it shows that there is a lot to come in the future,” said Dougherty.

Age seems irrelevant to the Warriors with a starting line up that changes every game. All players, no matter their class, contribute to the team’s success: sophomore, Jack Borgerding, leads the team in scoring, junior Evan Sizer leads the team in assists per game and steals per game, while senior Jacob Dougherty leads the team in blocks per game.

Some of the success with the young team is credited to the new coaching staff. The boys have given positive feedback towards all the coaches, especially the head coach, Dave Caldwell. Dougherty said, “He makes everyone feel welcome and everyone has a role, so every win is a team win.” Jack Stephens, a junior guard, has had his first year of varsity in the 2018-19’ season. “[Caldwell] is an effective game planner and decision maker. He makes sure you know your role as a player on the team. He tries to make sure everyone embraces their roles which keeps us unified.”

Stephens throwing the ball in. (PHOTO BY SPOONER)

A major controversy going into the season was the overturn of an entire coaching staff, especially with the way the prior coaches left. From the players perspective, the new coaches have brought a confident, fiery charisma to the team that was missing before.

“The coaches are much more engaging than last year,” Stephens went on, “they have individual meetings and stuff like that to make everyone feel important.” Speaking to the newfound spirit of the program Stephens was persistent in mentioning how passionate they are, “Our record would tell you otherwise but they really are.”

The basketball program has new faces this year. Even though not flashy, they have proven they are capable of making an impact going into the postseason.

Catch the boys in action Wednesday, February 27th at Western Brown High School vs. CHCA.