January 27, 2022

Dryden leaning on its varsity experience

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With last year’s abbreviated season in the rearview, the Dryden boys basketball team has a majority of its roster returning and hopes to use that experience to make a successful run in the IAC and Section IV this season.

Having a lot of players returning is a big deal for a team, especially one that is looking to improve on what they have done together in past seasons.

“We have a great group of guys this year and almost all of them have varsity basketball experience,” Lions head coach Zachary LeViere said. “With a majority of the team returning, the players enter the season with a chemistry that has already been established and we’re looking to build on the success we had last year.”

An important piece returning for Dryden is junior Colton Dow, who has been a part of the Lions program since his freshman year. Dow has impressed LeViere over the past couple seasons, but he will be expected to slide into a bigger role this year.

“I am excited to see Colton take the next step as a basketball player,” LeViere said. “He has amazing basketball talent; but what sets him apart is his work ethic and willingness to do all the little things like taking a charge or diving on the floor for a loose ball. I think the biggest area of growth for Colton this season will be as a leader. He has the experience and confidence to help push this team to the next level.”

Junior Xavier Scott, who saw some game time when he was called up as a freshman, will also be returning, and the duo of him and Dow are expected to play huge roles.

Despite so many returning players, there are newcomers on the roster, too, and they’re expected to slide into significant roles and have an impact right away.

“We have a few new faces on the court this season who are looking to contribute,” LeViere said. “Brendan McDaniels is a senior who missed all of last year due to an injury and CJ Miles is a junior who did not play last year.”

Dryden struggled greatly in 2019, winning only one game. Last season, despite it being shortened, the Lions won two of their first three games, already improving on the previous season. Though they still finished with a losing record in 2020, the whole program improved and has used the off-season to get even better.

“This preseason work has been so important preparing our guys for the season and especially for some of our underclassmen who are on the JV team,” LeViere said. “The basketball season can feel so short, especially once games begin, so individual skill development really happens during the offseason when players have the opportunity to get into the gym and focus on improving their game. I enjoyed having the gym opened for us this past summer and fall and seeing the players putting in the hard work to get better. I am expecting that to pay off this season with successful seasons for both our varsity and JV teams.”

The Lions open their season up at home against Seton Catholic Central of Binghamton at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30.