2 - Paulding County Progress Winter Sports Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Late start, youth will challenge Raiders
By KEVIN WANNEMACHER Sportswriter
HAVILAND – Coming off of an out-standing football season, Wayne Trace willhave to overcome a late start as the Raiderslook to mix youth and inexperience withveterans returning in the upcoming year.The red, white and blue do bring back four letter winners from a squad that was20-3 a year ago. However, the Raiders alsohave to overcome the loss of 40 points fromthat squad on a team that averaged only 60a contest.Head coach Jim Linder returns for hissixth season at the helm of the programwith a team that has high hopes but also hasconcerns.Three of the top four returnees enjoyedsuccess as part of the football team and willlook to carry that success over to the hard-wood.After leading the football team at quarter- back, senior guard Colby Speice (6-3)comes back at the point for Wayne Traceafter posting seven points a night last year while dishing out 78 assists and recording50 steals.Senior forward Devin Wenzlick (6-2)also comes back following a season thatsaw him chip in three points and three boards per game.Junior Jake Arend (6-2) posted 20 stealsand contributed two points and two caromsa night. Junior Corbin Linder (6-0) alsoreturns, scoring 11.2 points a season agowhile hitting 62 treys and adding 38 assistsand 41 steals.“We do have a good nucleus back,” notedLinder, who is 51-61 at the helm of theRaiders. “We are going to be young andinexperienced at some spots and featureexperience and be veterans at others. The
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key is being able to mix those thingstogether and work together as a team for 32minutes.”Four newcomers to the varsity level aregoing to be counted on to provide key min-utes for Wayne Trace.Senior forwards Brock Worden (6-1) andT.J. Blackmore (6-4) move up from the jun-ior varsity level as does junior guard/for-ward David Sinn (6-5). Freshman guardEthan Linder (6-2) also will see playingtime at the varsity level.“A big concern is how long it takes us toget our basketball legs,” commented theRaider head coach. “Another area is our post players and how quickly they adapt tothe varsity game. We should be able to be physical but we have to do it in a smartway.“We had a very good summer season,”continued Linder. “This group really jelledtogether very well and the chemistry wasvery good. I think once we get past the tran-sition from football to basketball that thisteam has a lot of potential.”Linder does feel though that the Raidersare very deep and that should allow WayneTrace to push the tempo offensively.“When we have the ball, we want to getout and go,” Linder added. “We feel like wehave a group of kids that are very goodtogether and we can play any of them atanytime. This group is a very close groupand they like to run. We are hopeful that our depth is able to wear teams down.“We are behind the eight ball a little bitwith the football team’s success but it’ssomething we have to overcome,” said theRaider head coach. “Our quickness willallow us to be very aggressive and we wantto control the tempo. We have to use our depth to our advantage.”Defensively, the red, white and blue willfeature primarily a man-to-man squad.Wayne Trace could also mix in some zonedefenses as well.As far as the league goes, Linder feelsTinora and Edgerton will both be very goodwhile Ayersville should be much improved.The Raider head coach is hopeful thatWayne Trace is in the mix as well.“Edgerton has some very good players back from a team that was the league run-ner-ups,” concluded Linder. “Tinora wasvery good last year and they return key players as well. Ayersville has a nice groupof kids too. Hopefully we fall somewhere inthe race as well. It should be a very goodrace for the league title.”
WAYNE TRACE BOYS’ VARSITY BASKETBALL TEAM
Photos courtesy Gibby’s
MEMBERS OF THE WAYNE TRACE HIGH SCHOOL 2013-14 varsity basketball team are, front row from left – Coaches Al Welch, Jim Linder,Craig Miller, Kenny Speice; back row – Cole Shepherd, Colby Speice, Jake Arend, David Sinn, T.J. Blackmore, Justin Speice, Devin Wenzlick,Ethan Linder, Corbin Linder.