FARINA SOUTH CENTRAL
BY JACK BULLOCK
Sometimes you just feel the need to go home.
The South Central Cougars have a new basketball coach as Jamie VanScyoc, a former star athlete at this school in Farina, has returned home to coach were he once played.
After spending 15-years of his teaching and coaching life at Dieterich, VanScyoc made his way back home to were it all started.
He takes over for retired coach Rick Simmons, who stepped down in the spring after a long run at the school.
In fact in the brief history of this consolidation, the basketball program has only had four coaches since its beginning back in the 1989-90 school year.
A merger of two schools, Farina-LaGrove and Kinmundy-Alma, produced this school system that has done quite well in those 27-years as a district playing sports; girls and boys.
They became the first team from the old Midland Trail Conference to ever make it to a supersectional in boy's basketball when the late Gary Shirley led team got to the Class A Charleston Supersectional in 1998.
Rick Simmons was the head coach from 2010-11 until this past season.
Simmons was a long-time assistant coach for Coach Shirley.
Other than one season with Matt Sturgeon in 2009-10, South Central had just two coaches in 26-seasons.
The won-loss total in those 26-seasons is 498-265.
Not too shabby.
As for this season, Coach VanScyoc has some work to do as just one starter returns from the 13-16 team that lost to Altamont 62-56 at the St. Elmo 1A Regional semifinals.
Brett Harmeier, Drevonte Hill and Jon Arnold left via graduation and just one player with experience starting returns.
Trevor Markley, a 5-foot-10 senior guard, will return to the starting guard slot he occupied as a junior.
Coach VanScyoc mentioned sophomore Logan Lotz, a 5-foot-8 guard, who could make an impact.
There are several others that will have a lot of playing time as there could end up being several different combinations on the floor at any given time.
Five-foot-nine senior guard Caleb Harpster along with several juniors will help make the coaching transition easier.
The juniors include 5-foot-10 Cauy Blomberg, 5-foot-9 Ean Fox, 5-foot-8 Trent Geiler, 5-foot-11 Ryan Matheny and 5-foot-10 Ryan McCown.
“If you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail is one of the coaching quotes that I live by,” said Coach VanScyoc, who in 11-years as boy's basketball coach at Dieterich he compiled an impressive 220-98 record, which included the school's first ever regional title in 2008. “Everyone of our players are an important person on this team and everyone plays a role. Those roles all vary but everyone is an important part of our basketball family.”
2017-18 VARSITY SCHEDULE

N20-25

Mulberry Grove Turkey Tournament J16 @ Neoga
N28 St. Elmo-Brownstown J19 @ Beecher City-Cowden-Herrick
D1 @ Odin J22-27 NTC Tournament @ Altamont
D5 @ Vandalia J30 @ Patoka
D8 @ Altamont F6 Effingham St. Anthony
D15 @ Centralia Christ Our Rock Lutheran F9 Mulberry Grove
D26-29 Vandalia Holiday Tournament F10 NTC/LOVC @ Toledo Cumberland
J5 Cisne F13 Sandoval
J9 @ Windsor-Stewardson-Strasburg F16 Louisville North Clay
J12 @ Dieterich F19-23 IHSA Regional TBD