For the Hamburg High School boys’ basketball team, wins have been tough to come by in recent years. The Hawks are coming off a season in which they were 0-10 in the Berks League and 3-19 overall. With a new coach, the Hawks will begin work on turning the program around.
Ryan McGinley has taken over as the head coach of the Hawks, and its his charge to turn the Hawks into a winning team.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge of developing a winning basketball program in Hamburg,” said McGinley. “Our team goals this year are to improve each and every game. If we can do this, we can be a competitive team within our conference.”
The good news is that there will be plenty of experience on the team. The Hawks return five seniors and six juniors, with three of the starters from last year coming back.
They will be led by seniors Joshua Kisha and Patrick Barter. Kisha was second on the team in scoring last year with 184 points (8.8 points per game). Barter was third on the team in scoring with 170 points (8.1 points a game).
“We anticipate Josh and Pat to both have very impactful senior seasons,” said McGinley. “Patrickand Joshua will play forward this season and the team will rely heavilyon their inside presence. Patrick is an athletic post player, who can runthe floor very well. He has a quick first step and can be at his best when
attacking the basket. Josh, who will play opposite post of Patrick, is a forward who can be a threat from the outside.”
Also coming back this season will be juniors Nicholas Schlottman, Julian Warner and Daniel Fink.
Schlottman averaged 2.5 points per game but will be relied on more heavily this season and should increase his offensive output.
Warner will also get a lot more playing time this season and should contribute with his shooting abilities. McGinley hopes that he can provide some pop from beyond the arc.
Fink will be the starting point guard for the Hawks and has developed into a very good player with the ball.
“He has developed into a quality point guard who can get to the basket,” said McGinley. “He has the ability to shoot off the dribble when attacking the basket, or distribute to a teammate.”
Sophomores Jared Lesher, Lucas Hauck and Logan Adams will all have a chance of seeing some varsity time this year. Lesher and Hauck give Hamburg an inside presence off the bench while Logan will come of the bench from the guard position.
Also on the team this year are seniors Matthew Prince and Tyler Seidel. Both played on the team as freshman, but have not been on the team the past two seasons.
Nobody is expecting the team to turn things around all at once. It’s a matter of taking it one step at a time. The Hawks have the experience to certainly improve on last year, but how much they will improve is still a question.
“To have a successful season, we have to compete at the highest level,” said McGinley. “As a team, we have to do the little things, like limiting turnovers, rebounding the basketball and making good decisions. If we can do these things, we can have a successful season.”
The Hawks open the season on the road at Kutztown on Dec. 10. Their first home game will be three nights later against Tulpehocken.