Kent City Varsity Boys Basketball, Varsity Boys Basketball · Season Preview: Varsity Boys’ Basketball

After a somewhat disappointing season last year, the Kent City Boys’ Basketball program moves into the 2019-2020 season with an unrelenting hunger for revenge. The team is lead by Head Coach David Ingles, who is heading into his fifth season at the helm for the Eagles. The Eagles have won numerous conference championships during Coach Ingles’ duration as head coach, but have fallen just short of a couple district titles along the way. This year’s team is working to change that fact.

2019-2020 Roster

#0 Spencer Hartley, Senior

#2 Max Hudson, Senior**

#3 Ryan Wheeler, Junior

#5 Dawson Vansyckle, Senior

#10 Eli Carlson, Senior**

#11 Casen Armstrong, Junior

#13 Will Wright, Senior**

#14 Shawn Anderson, Senior

#15 Hayden Carlson, Sophomore

#22 Brendan Boyd, Senior

#33 Adrian Archeiga, Junior

**=Returning Starter

2018-2019 Season Recap

The 2018-2019 season was underwhelming for the KC Boys’ Basketball team. The Eagles finished with an 11-9 record, their worst W-L total in Coach Ingles’ tenure. They failed to secure a conference title, after two losses to Morley-Stanwood and a shocking home loss to the Holton Red Devils. The Eagles were bounced in the first round of the MHSAA Districts against eventual district champion Northpointe Christian. Last season wasn’t all bad for the Eagles, however. They defeated rivals Grant and Newaygo by double digits, fought for a spirited revenge win at Holton at the end of the season, defeated a tough Ludington team that would make its way to the MHSAA State Semifinals, and fought to the very end in every single game.

2019-2020 Season Preview

The Boys’ Basketball program is back this season and ready to make waves in the CSAA Silver once again. The Eagles return three starters in Seniors Eli Carlson, Max Hudson, and Will Wright(to view a story on Will and his resilience after an accident cut his season short last year, click here), along with other seniors from last year’s team such as Dawson Vansyckle, Shawn Anderson, Brendan Boyd, and Spencer Hartley. Carlson and Hudson will most likely take on the brunt of the scoring for the Eagles this season, but any one of the athletes in the rotation for the Eagles will be able to hurt you on the scoreboard if need be.

However, even as important as it is for a team to put points on the board, it is even more important for a team to come up with crucial stops to keep other teams off of it. That’s what Coach Ingles has molded his program around: Defense.

Senior Max Hudson attempts to strip the ball away from an opposing player

Coach Ingles’ opinion on the most important skill for the game of basketball: “Here is my philosophy: Although I would like all my players to put in a lot of time outside the season working on their skillset, only a handful will actually do that on a regular basis (they are involved in other sports and activities).  So, I form our offense around those skilled kids, but anyone can play defense!  Defense is effort and focus.  There isn’t a player that can’t be very good on the defensive end if they put in effort and focus.  This is how we have been so successful here at Kent City, every player I’ve had here has bought into our defensive mindset.” 

The Eagles are expected to be right at the top of the CSAA Silver once again this season, and will look to knock reigning champion Morley-Stanwood off their perch as conference champions. They do not have an easy schedule this season, however, with fewer home games than normal and many crucial games on the road, such as Grant, Morley-Stanwood, Grand River Prep, and Cedar Springs. The boys will be up to any task they may face, though. They come to practice to work every single day and will have each other’s backs as the season goes on.

Senior Will Wright looks to pass to his teammate

Coach Ingles, on his main goal for this season: “I don’t have one main goal, I have many…Relationships:  I try and build a good relationship with all my players.  I want this to be more than a 2 to 4 year thing, I want it to be lifelong.  Work Ethic:  Instill this in our players so they can be successful not just in basketball but in life.  Win The Day:  Try and get our team to improve everyday.  I don’t base success off wins and losses, I base it on if we kept getting better.  If we do that the wins will take care of themselves.”

There is always a special feeling surrounding Friday night basketball games in The Nest, and this season should be no different. We have two exciting teams to put on the court this winter that will compete at a high level night in and night out. The boys’ team has the ability this year to right some wrongs from last season and do some things that have never been done in school history. The boys on the team look forward to that opportunity and the bonds that they will make with their teammates and coaches along the way.

The Eagles lock down on defense

Coach Ingles, on what about Kent City is special to him: “I have coached at numerous schools in my 25 years of coaching and Kent City is easily my favorite.  The support from the administration is fantastic, the athletes that have played for me here have dedicated themselves to the team and not individual success and most importantly are the relationships I have formed with my current and former players here.”

The boys’ basketball team has started off their season well so far, collecting three wins including a tough double-digit road win over rival Grant. They unfortunately took a tough loss at the Cornerstone Holiday Showcase to Kalamazoo Christian in a game that the Eagles were a few rebounds away from winning. They sit at 3-1 coming out of the holiday break. They get no rest out of the gates in 2020, as they travel to Grand River Prep on Jan. 7th in a rematch of a hard fought game from last season, a bout that the Eagles won in overtime 72-67. They then come back home for one of their most crucial games of the season, a date with the Morley-Stanwood Mohawks on January 11th. For the full season schedule, click here.