Euclid, Ohio– The Villa Angela St. Joseph Vikings finished their season 11-15. Head coach Ash Ward feels as if their record didn’t truly reflect the abilities of the team. Despite their roller coaster of a season they had last year, the Vikings are really excited to turn things around.
I got the chance to ask Coach Ward when asked about last season’s ups and downs.
“We lost some games I thought we should’ve won and then found a way to win some games that nobody thought we would win," said Ward. "I think that a lot of these guys are expecting to make a jump by going into this year because of all of the things we went through last year.”
Sean Shenker is a player who can be expected to make a leap and contribute positively this season. HIs shooting alone can bring much needed floor spacing. Last season as a sophomore he averaged nine points he had ten games making at least four threes. He is more than capable of bringing more to the table.
When asked about a possible leap from Shenker, Ward had this to say.
“He’s developing into more than just a shooter. He’s taking pride in defense, he wants to be a playmaker setting up his teammates.”
Defense, communication and look to be huge key staples for VASJ this upcoming season. Having a roster with more seniors definitely can help these factors come together nicely. This Viking roster has had the chance to go through growing pains and experiences together. Those growing pains seemed to help them become a cohesive unit together.
I asked coach about what he’s seen so far from his group.
“Team chemistry, our guys genuinely love each other. They spend time together away from basketball," said Ward. "They can lean on each other but at the end of the day they know they can lean on me too.”
Although the Vikings had a year of ups and downs they surprised people by getting into the district final. The 70-44 to Butchel loss might have been tough but it has helped to keep VASJ motivated heading into this year.
I got the chance to talk with senior guard Quandell Wright about the loss.
When asked about opening versus John Hay, Senior forward Jordan Council had this to say.
“I’m very excited to show what we do, prove everybody wrong. Our record last year didn’t show what we do, this year it’s going to show it.”
The Vikings struggled to win on their home floor last season. They open with three of their first five games being at home. They start the season at home against John Hay on December 2nd 7 PM.