By Dave Helmick
The Tucker County High School Boys’ Basketball program will start the season with a new Head Coach. Daniel Helmick takes over the reigns as the Mt. Lions coach after Jim Ambrose stepped down. Coach Helmick is a 1996 TCHS graduate and he has been with the program before as an Assistant Coach under Tom Gutshall. Helmick looks to make improvement from last season’s 9-16 record. Helmick said this when ask about practice so far, “I love the effort so far, the effort has been really good, I really do think we are going to be able to guard people better.” Tucker County returns a few players with varsity experience, but there will be players without varsity experience that will be asked to step up to fill in some roles.
Daniel Helmick has 24 total players out this season with the majority of those players being freshmen. The total breakdown looks like this; 3 seniors, 7 juniors, 5 sophomores and 9 freshmen make up the Mt. Lions Varsity and JV squads. Seniors that return that look to make an impact on varsity are as follows: Holden Young, Rudy Pennington and Wyatt White. Young played a lot as a junior last season and is expected to help a great deal with his previous experience. Pennington and White also got some varsity time last season so that experience will help as well. Wyatt Betler leads the junior class that returns. Betler started every game last season and expects to lead this team inside with his height and experience. Gus Mullennex also returns as a junior with varsity experience. Helmick has this to say Betler and Mullennex, “Wyatt and Gus have worked in the off season and I expect big things from them this season.” Other juniors that hope to make an impact on the varsity team are: Zack Colebank, Jeremy Liller and Trey Key.
The schedule for the Mt. Lions is once again tough. Tucker County will open the season with 4 of their first 7 games against “AA” or “AAA” teams. Coach Helmick said this about his schedule, “We play a tough schedule, I hope the schedule makes us tougher, we need to compete every night no matter who we are playing and get better daily and hopefully that helps us come march.” Helmick also added, “The season is not a sprint, it is a marathon, we want to be better in March, the team has a ways to go, but the kids know that.” The Mt. Lions will open the season with a road game against rival Southern, MD on Wednesday December 11th. Then Tucker County will then host “AAA” Preston, travel to Pendleton County and host Pocahontas County all before Christmas. The Mt. Lions will then travel to Notre Dame on December 27th and host Petersburg on December 30th. Tucker County will then host Keyser on January 3rd, travel to Moorefield on January 7th, host East Hardy on January 14th, travel to Lincoln on January 20th and travel to Preston on January 22nd. The Mt. Lions will round out January with home games against Bishop-Walsh, MD on January 24th, Notre Dame on January 29th and Southern MD. On January 31st. The February schedule will start on February 4th with a home game against Pendleton County, a road game against East Hardy on February 6th, a WV Hometown Invitationals game at home on February 8th and a road game to Pocahontas County on February 12th. The Mt. Lions will round out the season with a road contest at Keyser on February 14th, a road trip to RCB to compete in the Hometown Invitational on February 15th, a home game against Moorefield on February 18th and then a road game at Trinity on February 20th to finish out the regular season.
For a full season schedule go to TuckerCountySports.Com. A number of TCHS Boys’ Basketball games will be broadcast by Chris George on 94.7 FM WELK and online also at TuckerCountySports.Com.