After an unusual preseason, the Mohawk boys are eager to get back to business.
Like every other team, the pandemic altered the Warriors’ preparation. However, the team looks forward to returning to the structure of a season — and to improve on last year’s 0-12 WPIAL Section 3-2A record.
“Everything has been going pretty well. We’ve been trying to make the best out of the situation. We’ve been fortunate enough to be in the gym,” Mohawk coach Nick Marmo said. “I am excited. We have some young guys who have some ability and some older guys that have been around and know what they’re doing. We wanted to get in some fall leagues, but we just decided to do whatever we can to give ourselves the chance to start the season. I am excited for the year to start and see what some of these guys can do.”
Mohawk, which finished 4-18 overall last year, returns just three lettermen in senior Jackson Miller and juniors Garrison Staph and J.T. Norge. Miller averaged 8.3 points per game with a game-high 25 3-pointers a year ago.
“Jackson Miller has played a lot of basketball for us and we’re excited to see what he can do this year,” Marmo said. “We think we have a lot of guys who can compete for some time. We’re really encouraged with what we’ve seen so far with the young guys. They are exited and hungry. They are soaking everything in and picking it up. Every time we give them something new, as coaches, they take it in and want more, more, more.”
The Warriors hope to rely heavily on their bench this season.
“Depth is something we haven’t had a whole lot of. I don’t know if they will all be ready, but with more time, I think they will be pretty good players for us,” Marmo said. “We could probably play 9-10 guys, just depending upon situations and health.”
Junior Mark Rudesill is making a push for a bigger role this season.
“He’s been very active in the past and he’s starting to be more consistent. If he stays that way, he will get a lot of time,” Marmo said. “Everybody else is kind of in the mix. We have a lot of young guys that will be fighting for some time. I am excited to see how it plays out and see how they respond when they are in front of a different jersey.”
Guard play will prominent for Mohawk
“We’re going to have a lot of guys who can handle the ball, something we haven’t really had in the past,” Marmo said. “We’ll have multiple point guard-types on the court. Some of these guys have put some time in and I think we’ll be able to shoot it a little better than in the past. When the ball goes in the hoop, it cleans up everything else. I am excited to see how it all comes together.”
The Warriors moved up to Class 3A and are in Section 1 with Beaver Falls, Ellwood City, Laurel, Neshannock and Riverside.
“Those are some teams we’re familiar with and it’s a little easier to travel,” Marmo said. “It’s kind of nice. Most of these kids have played Neshannock, Laurel, Ellwood City and Riverside a lot growing up. We’ve competed against a lot of these kids the last few years. It’s nice to be back with them. Those rivalries make it a little more special. Maybe, this year, gyms will not be as full as they used to be, but there’s still something to be said about going to play Neshannock, Laurel and Shenango. We want to put on a good show and we want to compete.
“We’re excited to get going. We’ll do everything we can to make sure we have a season.”