More Experienced Chargers Look for Improvement

by Ken Brown

CRAFTSBURY – Second year head coach Sean Ryan will return a more experienced roster this season as his Craftsbury Academy (CA) boys’ basketball team will try to improve on what was a challenging inaugural season in the rugged Mountain League.

The Chargers won two games last season, but none in a Division III-rich Mountain League that is also home to Division IV defending state champion Blue Mountain. Ryan lost Jas Zendik and Bair Locke to graduation, but returns an entire roster that knows what it is like to navigate the rigors of the Mountain.

“This division is so challenging, especially when you are a small school trying to build up a program. We jumped into the fire last season and basically had two seniors and a JV team that were learning on the fly against some very good basketball programs. We had 11 guys come out for the team this year and they all saw varsity action last year, which is great. I’ve seen the physical and mental jump in them so far in practices. Their basketball IQ is better and they are just a more mature group of athletes. They know they are going up against bigger schools with bigger kids this winter and I think that added maturity is going to allow us to be more aggressive on the offensive and defensive end,” said Ryan.

Will Patnoe, Dalton Gravel, and Adrian Crytzer will be the senior leadership on a team that is still relatively young and learning. Junior Dylan Washer returns after being one of the main sources of scoring for CA along with the departed Zendik. Evan LaMare will be looked upon to shoulder some more of the offensive responsibilities in his sophomore campaign and Landon Miller also returns after showing promise as just an eighth grader last season.

“We have a good mix this year with more experience. I think we can show some improvement within the league and win some favorable matchups out of it if we continue to get better throughout the season and stay healthy. We have a couple of scrimmages this week to help us get more prepared and we are all excited for the season and ready to get after it,” said Ryan.

The Chargers will host Enosburg next Tuesday in their season opener.