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Barons’ three seniors were unsung heroes
Players retire, they sign elsewhere as free agents, they get traded, or whatever the case may be.
For all their differences, this is one area where high school and professional sports are pretty similar. Sure, you have rare cases like this year’s Warwick girls basketball team, with not one senior on its roster, who might bring back the same mix.
More times than not, however, the very nature of high school sports is that you’re going to lose at least a couple of seniors to graduation.
The 2013-14 Manheim Central boys basketball squad is no different.
Yes, guys like Matt Walsh got a lot of ink, for good reason, and everyone knows that the Barons are bringing back all five of their starters next winter, when they will certainly be a heavy favorite to repeat as the L-L Section Three champions.
But what probably gets overlooked too much with this team are their role players – in particular, seniors Josh Flanagan, Josiah Ginder and Steve Young. It was a topic of discussion that coach Chris Sherwood was speaking with three visitors about in the wake of the Barons’ season-ending State playoff loss to Archbishop Carroll last Friday night.
“We’ve got three big (sets of) shoes to fill,” Sherwood said. “There’s things that they did for us that were just absolutely huge.”
It’s hard to argue with him.
On other teams, they might have been starters themselves. Flanagan’s free throws were the difference in a key mid-January two-point win over LMH – a team, by the way, that is still alive in the second-round of the State Triple-A playoffs – and he came up big time after time in the playoffs. In that same game against Mennonite, Young nailed a clutch triple to help the Barons rally from behind. He was a mainstay in Central’s 1-2-2 zone. And to hear Sherwood say it, Ginder was irreplaceable in regards to preparing the team for opponents and his work ethic from day one.
In today’s world, where private schools are dominating the number of District and State championship trophies being won, what the Barons accomplished this winter was pretty darn special.
Those role players deserve a lot of credit for it.
Being honest, winning games probably makes accepting roles a little bit easier. And the Manheim Central boys did a lot of that this year. But still, everyone wants to play as much as possible.
In basketball, only five can play at a time, but you can’t win with just five guys, period. You need guys to get breathers and you need different guys to make plays and win games on different nights.
As Sherwood will tell you, Flanagan, Ginder and Young were an integral part of the Barons’ success this year.
“I’m excited about next year, but we had three natural-born winners that were seniors,” the Barons’ coach said. “They have to be replaced.”