Crestwood enters the 2021-2022 season with two returning starters and a focus on the fundamentals as the Red Devils look to develop team chemistry and gain varsity experience.
The undersized Red Devils aren’t short on competitiveness, leaving seventh-year head coach Josh Jakacki optimistic about his squad’s potential.
“We have been very impressed with the team’s competitiveness and work ethic,” said Jakacki, who is 85-49 in his tenure at the school. “They collectively have worked as a unit and our returners have led the younger players.”
Crestwood finished last season with a 7-9 record.
The Red Devils graduated an All-Ohioan who handled much of the team’s scoring and on top of that, the team will be noticeably smaller this winter.
“We are a young team that is limited size-wise,” Jakacki said. “Thus, having to play and execute to our best on both ends every night. We must play as one unit and do things well on both ends. It might sound cliché, but we have to be great on the little things.”
Jakacki will lean on seniors Aidan Gutglueck and Louis Blasiole to set the tone for the younger players.
Gutglueck and Blasiole both earned first-team All-Chagrin Valley Conference honors in football and bring a competitive edge to the basketball court.
A 5-foot11 guard, Gutglueck is a returning starter and Blasiole is a 5-foot-9 forward. Both players earned honorable mention all-conference honors last season.
“(Gutglueck is a) competitive young man who plays very hard. He wants to make the right play and has grown his game tremendously in the offseason,” Jakacki said. “(Blasiole is a) physical player who plays bigger than his size. He is a great leader and plays hard.”
Senior Jake Rowe is a 6-foot-2 forward with varsity experience.
“(He is a) nice athlete who is a team player and does whatever is asked of him,” Jakacki said. “He communicates well on defense and does a lot of little things.”
Sophomore Ty Fannin, a 5-foot-9 guard, and freshman Dakota Johnson, a 5-foot-10 guard, round out the projected starting lineup.
“(Fannin is a) quick, twitchy athlete who does a nice job running the offense and sets table on the defensive end,” Jakacki said. (Johnson is a) heady guard who is skilled and has a high basketball IQ.”
Senior Seth Walker, a 5-foot-10 guard, juniors Jayden Julian and Josh Eyerman, and sophomores Charlie Scheickert and Jimmy Peters will provide the Red Devils with depth.