The Dominion Post  

Trinity boys ready to make some noise on court

Created on:   Wed, Dec 6, 2017   12:37 AM

Last modified:   Wed, Dec 6, 2017   12:37 AM

For The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — The Trinity Christian boys’ basketball team and head coach John Fowkes are expecting big things this season, and rightfully so.

Not many programs across West Virginia, if any, will have the luxury of the Warriors’ 14 upperclassmen on the varsity roster, including nine juniors that saw significant minutes last season.

Following his inaugural season as the head coach, when the Warriors went 14-14 and fell in the sectional quarterfinals, to eventual Class A champ Notre Dame, Fowkes’ believes experience will help his team reach Charleston in March.

“Playing Notre Dame three times last year, with that young core group, I think that was really to our advantage,” he said. “I didn’t appreciate how talented Jarrod (West, of the Irish) was until I saw him play in the state tournament, and now as a freshman at Marshall. He’s a special kid and he definitely made us better. That experience can pay off tremendously.”

Fowkes said a big step in moving forward is how many of his guys are buying into the program on the court and in the weight room, compared to last year.

“Our defense has been very physical so far,” he said. “You can just tell the weight room has done significant things for us. Last year, we didn’t know each other and to them, I was changing their whole world. This year, we’ve become a very tight-knit group, like a family. It’s completely different and they 100 percent have bought in.”

Fowkes pointed out a pair of leaders that Trinity will turn to this year: All-Ohio Valley Athletic Conference (OVAC) senior Joseph Zini and senior Kellen Alderman, who set some benchmarks for their team and talked about how their head coach is helping them get there.

“A couple of goals for the team is, first, attack every game one at a time and take care of business every night,” Zini said. “Long term, our goals are to win the OVAC, win sectionals, regionals, then states.”

Zini continued by saying that Fowkes “has helped a lot by putting us in the best situation to reach these goals. He’s had us together in the weight room and has helped us build really strong team chemistry before the season even started.”

Alderman touched on more of the on-the-court aspect of Fowkes’ coaching philosophy.

“Coach has had us focusing on the fundamentals, such as intense defense and communication on the floor,” he said. “On offense, we are focused on good ball movement, passing and taking the best shot. It all boils down to playing as a team and focusing on the little details.”

Another significant piece to the puzzle for the Warriors is their center, Daniel Woods. Fowkes said his coaching staff believes Woods can be one of the better big men in Class A basketball.

Trinity opens play Thursday, at Linsly.