Coach Jesse Mitchell comes into his first year as head coach of the McClain Tigers basketball team, and is just as excited as anyone else to get the season under way.
“I am excited, our coaching staff is excited, our players are excited,” said Mitchell. “Everyone is. We put in some good work over the summer and some guys bought into the weight room work, we are looking forward to the challenges we’ll face this season.”
The Tigers graduated a very talented group of seven seniors last year but this year they have six in Randal Mischall, Cody Hardesty, Alex Hollar, Travis Hall, Jeff Kline, and Gordon Clouser, to take their places. Coach Mitchell says that the team is not going to rely on just one of those guys, or any one guy, for leadership of the team. He believes in it being a group effort.
“We are developing leadership skills in all of our guys,” said Mitchell. “I don’t believe that we can be successful with just one leader. Our seniors want to leave a legacy for the future classes, and they know this is their last chance to do that. We will rely on some new faces this year, but also have some key returning players from last year also. We are looking for guys to fill roles that will help us be successful as a team.
“With this being my first year, everything we do is new. The kids are doing a great job of buying into our system and working to be better every day. Our goal right now is to compete and make each other better every opportunity we get.”
Coach Mitchell isn’t sure where his team stacks up compared to the others in the South Central Ohio League, being a first year coach, but he knows each night will be a challenge.
“It is hard to say where we stack up.” said Mitchell on the league. “We are counting on some new varsity contributors stepping up and filling some voids from last year. I’m sure we are just as excited as anyone to get the season rolling and find out what we are made of. The league will be a challenge each night. We embrace competition though. I am looking forward to it.
“Being the coach at McClain High School is an honor and a privilege. Being a player that wears that jersey comes with the same responsibility. We take great pride in making our school, community, and fans proud of the team that we are. We know that there is a deep tradition and history that goes along with McClain Basketball, and we are excited for the challenge.”
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.