Rigdon takes over new role as only returning starter –
By Wade Linville –
This year’s Eastern Warriors are looking to reload with a new crew of leaders after graduating four starters since last season. The Warriors will rely heavily on their only returning starter, senior guard/forward Blake Rigdon, who is asked to take on a bigger role as far as scoring goes.
“He has got to be our leader,” long-time Eastern boys basketball coach Rob Beucler said of Rigdon. “Blake is going to be asked to score more than he did last year.”
Rigdon played the role of point guard during his junior season, but as a senior he will take over a position such as a wing guard that puts him in a better position to score.
Another senior back for the Warriors this season is forward Jacob Diener.
Taking over the point guard position will be junior TJ Stivers, a player who has gathered a great deal of varsity experience over the past couple of years.
Expect big things out of 6’2″ junior postman Garyn Purdy this season, providing the Warriors with a bit of needed size in the paint while also a skilled shooter from the outside.
The Warriors are also equipped with an athletic group of underclassmen who will gain some varsity experience this season including sophomore guard Marcus Hamilton and sophomore Ethan Battson.
Rounding out the Warriors’ varsity roster this season are junior Logan Lainhart, junior Josh Tolle, junior Dakota Hiser, freshman Titus Burns, sophomore Gage Boone, junior Dare Minton, senior Jordan Johnson, and freshman Kaleb Martin.
“We could play as many as 10 kids or we could play seven or eight, depending on who is getting it done,” said Beucler. “The biggest thing we’re trying to figure out is where the pieces are going to go.”
As with Beucler’s varsity teams from the past, expect a hard-nosed group of defenders.
“You have to play with intensity and you have to execute,” said Beucler. “We’re not ‘super talented’ with athletes but I think we have good kids that play hard.”
The Warriors would start off their 2016-17 court campaign on a successful note, defeating the Hillsboro Indians in their season opener.