Clearfield– There is much excitement surrounding the Clearfield Boy’s basketball team this season after coming off of Coach Forrest Campman’s best record as a Head Coach at 15-10.
What is surprising about the excitement is that Clearfield does not return one single starter from last year’s playoff team. The Bisons lost their top two scorers from last year (James Zimmermann 11.9 pts, and Mike Johnson 11.1 pts), but have shown in summer league and preseason camps that just about everyone on this year’s team can score.
The Bison’s leading returning scorers are senior Todd Hryn at 7.5 pts a game, junior Jarrin Campman at 4.4 pts per game, and senior Drew Hipps at 2.6 pts per game. But don’t let those numbers fool you; at numerous times last year Campman and Hryn were able to score in double digits. Another dangerous threat for the Bison will be junior Matt Shiner who was the leading scorer from a Junior Varsity team that lost only one game last season. He also showed a great shooting touch in limited varsity action.
According to coach Campman, “I believe that Drew Hipps is a better scorer at this point going into the season than Johnson was last year, but being better and performing are two different things. I also believe between Jarrin and Matt that they will be able to score more points combined in a given game than what Zimmermann had done. We have much better shooters this year with Jarrin, Matt, Parker, and Todd who are four guys who will make shots when they are open from the perimeter, and we have two big bodies in the middle with Drew and Cruise.”
As for who will be in the starting five for the Bison on Friday night against St. Marys at the Keystone Tip-off Tournament, Campman is still unsure.
“There are basically six starters right now with three letter winners returning: Todd Hryn, Jarrin Campman, and Drew Hipps, and the next guys being Matt Shiner, Cruise Kerr, and Parker Herrington. I’m not sure who I am going to start in the first game, but those guys right there are basically the first six,\” said Campman.
According to Campman those six won’t be the only players seeing action on the court at the varsity level, “Off the bench we have David Ryan, Nate Greenland, Trey Campman, and Chad Zurat, I don’t really want to eliminate anybody there are going to be a lot of guys coming off the bench, obviously I’ll look to give my seniors a chance first with David Ryan, Nate Greenland, and Joel Fox.”
A concern that rises in most young teams like the one Clearfield has this year is minimal senior leadership with only one or two seniors on the floor at a time; but Campman has a different way of looking at it. “You can look at it one of two ways if you don’t play until you’re a senior like we’ve had a lot of kids do over the years that means they weren’t really good enough to play as juniors and weren’t great players, but were able to go through the system and learn how to not make mistakes. This year we have a lot of juniors playing so it shows that they are really solid players.”
This year as is the case in most years, Bradford will once again be the team to beat in the District 9 AAA Playoff bracket, but they aren’t the only good team according to Campman “Bradford will be the team for us to beat again this year they have the Lanich kid and LaBrozzi who were two of the top five players in the district last year and also the Taylor kid is a good point guard.”
As for District 9 league play Clearfield plays a very tough schedule with games against perennial state playoff contender Elk County, St. Marys, as well as rivals DuBois and Curwensville. “Elk County lost most of their scoring from last season, but still have their big guys, and they are Elk County so they are always going to play you tough. St. Marys beat us both times we faced them last year and that was the difference between them making the state playoffs and us not making it, and from playing against DuBois and Punxy in the summer we know they have gotten better, so until we finish ahead of those teams in the standings we can’t say we are any better than them. This year is going to be a more competitive D9 league than we’ve had the last few years, but we are all going to be chasing Bradford at some point,” said Campman.
Joel Fox, Nathan Greenland, *Drew Hipps, *Todd Hryn, David Ryan.
*Jarrin Campman, Jeff Herres, Parker Herrington, Cruise Kerr, Matt Shiner, Tyler Wilson.
Trey Campman, Chad Zurat.
*Denotes returning letterwinners
30-vs. St. Marys at Keystone Tournament, 6:30 p.m.
1-at Keystone Tournament, TBA; 3-Central Mountain; 7-Punxsutawney; 11-at St. Marys; 12-at Curwensville; 14-Brookville; 18-at Bald Eagle Area; 20-at Johnsonburg; 26-27-at Purchase Line Tournament, TBA.
4-Bradford; 7-at DuBois; 10-at Elk County Catholic; 14-Philipsburg-Osceola; 16-St. Marys; 18-Curwensville; 21-at Ridgway; 23-at Punxsutawney; 25-at Brookville; 29-Elk County Catholic.
1-at Bradford; 6-DuBois; 8-at Bellefonte.
All varsity games begin at 7:30 p.m. unless noted.