“First year in the rodeo” is the way that veteran Head Coach Jeff Hammond described all but two of the young Bears this coming season. The Leetonia Bears open up the 18-19 campaign against Lowellville on Friday night at home and look to improve from their 5-18 season a year ago. With sights aimed high, the Bears are looking to overcome adversity and obstacles that they face this season.

One obstacle that the team is trying to overcome is the season-ending injury to senior point guard Roman Ferry. Ferry was the leading scorer for the 2017-2018 season where he averaged 18.3 points per game in 29.7 minutes of action.  Coach Hammond stated that losing Roman Ferry for the season was a major blow to the team.”

The inexperienced Bears are looking for leadership on the floor from Brock Simpson and Quentin Craik this season. Coach Hammond is further looking for growth this season from his sophomores Ian Davis, Dylan Lennon, Jordan Baker, and Marco Ferry due to increased playing time.  The Bears are deep at the varsity level and look to dress nine players for varsity.

While depth may be plentiful for the Bears, one area of concern will be size. Senior Quentin Craik is going to be the tallest player on the roster as he is listed at 6’3. Because of this lack of size, coach Hammond said that rebounding would be a challenge on a nightly basis. Their plan to generate offense is with increased three-point shooting percentages and limiting turnovers.

The Bears open up with the Lowellville Rockets Friday night where they face a unique challenge in trying to stop Matt Hvisdak,  who coach Hammond describes as an all-conference caliber point guard” and someone who can “score and distribute to anyone on the floor”.   Leetonia looks to stop direct layup opportunities by limiting turnovers and coach Hammond further stated “ we can’t hurt ourselves too much and expect to keep up with them.”

The Rockets and Bears tip off jayvee action at 5:30, followed by the varsity at 7. YSN will be bringing you live audio/video streaming of the varsity action on