At 3-2 in the Berks League, the Fleetwood High School boys’s basketball team is right on the cusp of a playoff spot. With half a season remaining on their schedule, the Tigers will need to dig down deep and play some good basketball if they want to make the playoffs.
They have the talent to get to their goal. They have the athleticism and the experience for a very successful season. But what they have most is leadership. That’s where Clay Weidemoyer comes in. He leads the team in scoring, averaging 9.3 points a game, but more importantly, through his leadership, he is the engine that makes the team go.
“I would love to have five Clay Weidemoyer’s on my team,” said Fleetwood head coach Terry Sitler. “He’s the epitome of a team leader. Everything that I ask as a coach from Clay, I get with 110% effort. What I like about Clay is not just his attitude and ability on the floor, but he has developed into our team leader. He has taken the younger players under his wing – they could not ask for a better role model.”
Certainly his scoring ability makes him a valuable player on the team, but he knows what his biggest role is for his team.
“My role on the team is to be a leader,” said Weidemoyer. “I take pride in being vocal on the court. I play with a lot of emotion in hopes that my team will feed off of my emotion.
“My high school basketball career has been a great experience. I’ve developed into a player I never thought I could be. Averaging nine points a game last year exceeded my expectations.”
The Tigers are deep this year. As valuable as Weidemoyer is as a scorer, he’s just one of five players on the team who is averaging over seven points a game. This team does not have to count on any one player to score the points. If someone is having a bad night, there is always somebody else to pick up the slack.
When the team lost last year’s team scoring leader Jeff Estima to graduation, there wasn’t too much concern about who would take his place.
“I actually think this year we have such a balanced team that I won’t have to pick up what we lost with Jeff graduating,” said Weidemoyer. “We have seven or eight players that can all score at any time in the game.”
Weidemoyer has been playing basketball since he was five years old. He played many different sports when he was younger, but it didn’t take him long to fall in love with basketball.
He got his skills from his mother, who played basketball at Hamburg High School and Lebanon Valley College. Maybe it was his mother’s influence, but he stuck with the sport and became the player he is today. He also gives a lot of the credit to his teammates, saying they are the biggest reason he’s still playing basketball.
“The group of guys I play basketball with keeps me playing,” said Weidemoyer. “We have played together since elementary school. It’s a great time being around them.”
He has a lot of faith in his teammates, and a lot of confidence that the Tigers will reach their goal of making the playoffs.
“I expect great things this year,” he said. “We have a lot of experience. We have a great mixture of “bigs” and “guards”, and we’re very athletic. I’m looking forward to making some noise around the league.
“We need to win the games that we are supposed to, and also come out on top in close games. We also have to believe that we are talented enough to win - and we are.”