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BRIDGEPORT RED HILL
BY JACK BULLOCK
Coaching at a small school in a very large conference will have its headaches.
Just ask Red Hill head coach Bryan Havill.
Playing a brutal schedule of foes with an enrollment of just 275 kids, the won-loss mark is never really pretty.
The one solace that Coach Havill and his Salukis could take from each season was that they could gear up for a post-season where they could face schools at the 1A level.
The key word in that statement is “was.”
Like the shifting winds, the IHSA classification figures have changed so low and behold, Red Hill is now 2A instead of 1A.
The silver lining of the usual basketball season has tarnished.
On top of that, only one starter with much playing time returns from the team that lost to Oblong in the regional at Dieterich last February.
Coach Havill will end up playing against schools who will likely dwarf them in size.
Yes, that is all bad news, but don't look for any tears.
Look for the Salukis to get after it again in 2016-17.
Last season, Red Hill finished 11-18 overall, 1-8 in the “not so” Little Illini Conference.
A league that once had mostly small schools as members, now have all 2A and 3A clubs for boy's basketball.
Kameron Vinsel, a 6-foot-1 senior, returns for Coach Havill.
Vinsel led the Salukis with 17.7 points a game.
He is the one this program will build around this season.
Four returning letter winners are back for Red Hill as these kids should work their respective ways into the starting lineup when the brutal gauntlet of games begin with the annual Lawrence County Capitol Classic.
Five-foot-eleven sophomore Drew Moore is on the list as are four juniors; 5-foot-10 Corbin Shoulders, 6-foot-2 Andy Wells, Chase Murray and 6-foot-3 Mitchell Nash.
Coach Havill also mentioned some sophomores; 5-foot-11 Cade Benson, Parker Havill, Conner Mckinney and Landen Ray.
“Basically things are up for grabs come November. We should have more depth than we've had and I think this year's team will have more shooting than we've had. We are not going to be real big but hopefully quick,” said Coach Havill, who is in his 15th season at Red Hill. “I would consider this season a success if we can hang around the middle pack of the conference which I think is possible if our youth grows up quickly.”
2017-18 VARSITY SCHEDULE

N24-25

Lawrence Co. Capital Classic J16 @ Marshall
N28 Hutsonville-Palestine J19-26 LIC Tournament @ TBD
D1 @ Lawrenceville J30 @ Hutsonville-Palestine
D8 Olney Richland F2 @ Neoga
D9-16 Wayne City Holiday Tournament F3 Cisne
J2 @ Casey-Westfield F6 Lawrenceville
J5 Newton F9 @ Robinson
J6 @ Fairfield F13 Edwards County
J9 Oblong F16 Flora
J12 Paris F19-23 IHSA Regional TBD