ZANESVILLE, Ohio- Having to deal with all the issues Covid-19 presents is challenging enough.
For Todd Rock, who enters his 28th season as the Bishop Rosecrans boys basketball coach, he’ll also have the challenge of replacing eight seniors from a year ago.
“One thing about up here is the kids, that will be out there, are going to play hard,” Rock said. “When you play hard you’re going to beat some people you’re not suppose to beat.”
“Just really excited,” senior point guard, Thomas Spohn said. “I didn’t get to play a lot last year. So to come in here and start, my first year of starting, it’s going to be fun.”
Key players returning from last years team, that went 20-4, are seniors Josh Merva, who started last season and averaged nearly 13 points a game, along with Spohn.
“We expect him (Spohn) and Josh (Merva) to play 32 minutes every night. Never expect them to come out of the ball game,” Rock said.
While eight seniors left the program, due to graduation, seven more have entered the program as freshman.
“New kids coming in. A lot of young kids. I got a really gifted freshman class,” Rock said. “We never rebuild up here. But if you’re going to lose eight seniors I’m going to play some young kids too because I want to have second and third and four year returners.”
Spohn said, “A lot of guys are smart. They know the game, they’ve been playing it for a while so there’s guys that we can use at the varsity level this year.”
“We’re not looking too bad just a bunch of young guys get in here and get working.”
What’s helped this group, prepare for the season, off the court is reading the book Chop Wood Carry Water: How to fall in love with the process of Becoming Great.
And in the words of the bishops coach, ‘if you can’t play, you can always read.’
Spohn said, “How to be a good leader, it teaches you a lot about that and nothing is given to you. Everything you have, everything that we get to accomplish is what you have to work for.”
The Bishops open the season Tuesday night (12/1) at Miller. Coach Rock needs just six wins this season to reach 400 career wins.