Friday, December 9, 2022

Harvey seeks to defend league title

Harvey returns the bulk of its lineup from last year’s team that finished 10-3 in league play on the way to winning the first conference championship since 2008.

The Red Raiders, who finished 15-8 overall, are zoned in on defending that championship.

“I think we have a group of guys ready to defend the first conference championship since 2008,” ninth-year head coach Dave Wojciechowski said. “Guys worked hard in the offseason and are battling the virus and everything else this year has brought on in good fashion.”

Among Harvey’s projected starters is one of Northeast Ohio’s top players in Rod Coffee III.

The 6-foot-3 junior guard, who already holds seven Division I scholarship offers, averaged 15.5 points with five steals and four assists per game last season.

Hassan Jones, a 6-foot-3 junior guard, averaged eight points and four rebounds per game last season. Jeriah Norris, a 6-foot-2 junior forward, and Mataio Snyder, a 5-foot-10 senior guard, dropped in five and four points per game, respectively, and Norris also pulled down three rebounds per contest.

Braylon Johnson, a 6-foot-4 freshman forward, will make his debut in the starting lineup.

“We will rely on junior guard Rod Coffee and the returning players,” Wojciechowski said. “Hasan Jones will be a surprise in Northeast Ohio and be a good complement to Coffee. Team quickness and depth will be of value as the season moves on.”

Seniors Willie Grimes and Derry Gaston, junior Delon Dargan, sophomores Dez Thomas and Spencer Weber and freshmen Mason Haffa and Devon Badley will provide the Red Raiders with depth and talent off the bench.

Grimes, Gaston and Dargan all are 5-foot-10 guards. Thomas is a 5-foot-8 guard and Weber is a 5-foot-9 guard. Haffa (5-9) and Badley (6-0) also play in the frontcourt.

“The staff is looking forward to the season and, in particular, the development of young players,” Wojciechowski said. “Practices and games early on will be very helpful to many of our young guys. I think this team has a chance to be special later in the season. We are excited to see where we will end up and if we can compete again for a conference championship.”

One concern for the Red Raiders is their relative lack of size.

“As the season goes on, players will get experience and grow, but our size will be an issue throughout the season,” Wojciechowski said. “We will have to be tough and physical in the paint.”

Wojciechowski needs just 11 wins this season to reach 300 for his career.

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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