SHAWNEE
BY JACK BULLOCK
Coach Russ Marsh has a unique story of sorts, kind of like one of those movies where the Yankee comes to the southern town and they don't quite know what to think.
A Chicago native (you can tell when you hear his voice where he is from) came down here a few years ago to coach sports.
He has helped out every program he has ever touched and now he enters his second season as the coach at Shawnee.
After several losing seasons in a row, the Redskins fortunes changed last season with a .500 mark of 12-12 for the season.
They didn't throw a parade or anything, but this is a huge step forward for a basketball program that hasn't had much success since the Derek Winans led club won back-to-back regional titles back in 1999-2000.
The Redskins took home the consolation championship of the Chester Invitational Tournament and put together a nice run in the South Egyptian Conference (5-3).
Shawnee beat Century in the opening game of the Century 1A Regional last year before being eliminated by Cairo in the semifinals.
For this season, Coach Marsh has a few kids coming back but no starters from that team remain from a year ago.
With six seniors departed, Coach Marsh has plenty of job applications to hand out to the kids ready to work hard.
Senior Zak Phelps, a 6-foot-1 forward and 5-foot-9 senior Nick Baltzell return after playing last season.
Another senior, 5-foot-10 Tyrik Davis will be in the running as will juniors 6-foot-2 Kannon Wills and 6-foot-2 Dawson Johnson.
His sophomore group has 6-foot-2 Austin Warren, 5-foot-5 Nick Rose, 5-foot-8 Tre Rains, 5-foot-6 Mike Derossett and 5-foot-11 Holden Criddle.
Coach Marsh also mentioned 5-foot-7 freshman Ryan Schaefer and 5-foot-6 Koby McLane.
He even has a few new players, juniors Trenton Matlock and Wyatt Harris, both at 6-foot-1.
“This years team has a lot of talent but no experience, that may hurt us but our hustle will make up for it,” said Coach Marsh. “We have some players that can shoot the “3” and players that can rebound. The key is we must play defense.”
2017-18 VARSITY SCHEDULE

D5

Joppa-Maple Grove J26 @ Elkville Elverado
D8 @ Ullin Century J30 @ Dongola
D12 @ Cobden F2 Tamms Egyptian
D15 @ Marion Agape Christian F6 Ullin Century
D19 @ Golconda Pope County F9 Mounds Meridian
J5 Elkville Elverado F13 @ Oak Ridge (MO.)
J16 Marion Agape Christian F16 @ Dongola
J20 Dongola F19-23 IHSA Regional TBD