Matrix Staff Writer
Volume XXXVIII: Issue 3: Page 13
This year, two freshman boys have set out to prove that age is just a number, and it is the talent that matters.
When a school has a freshman team in addition to a junior varsity and varsity, it is practically unheard of to have one freshman on varsity, let alone two. However, Joey Burrow and Ryan Luehrman, both freshmen at Athens, have achieved this supposedly impossible goal.
Both Burrow and Luehrman play guard, a position that emphasizes speed, ball handling ability and shooting skills. Although this position is known for its ability to exhaust players, both players enjoy it, noting its connection to scoring.
As Luehrman said, “I get the ball a lot and I’m able to score many easy points.”
Coach Jeff Skinner discussed their unique talents as guards. “Joey brings us a big guard who is a shot maker while Ryan brings us much needed size and athleticism.”
Skinner said, “They both play with a lot of confidence, composure and high IQ,” qualities prized in play-making basketball players.
Yet neither freshman expected to land a varsity spot so soon in his high school career. Burrow said, “I was a little surprised.”
Luehrman added, “I was kind of surprised I made varsity. I felt very excited because I knew I would be able to improve myself by playing with more experienced athletes.”
Although tryouts are over, the hard part has only just begun. Because Burrow and Luehrman previously played basketball with boys their own age, they are accustomed to dominating the court. Burrow said, “When I play with older guys, the game is just much more physical and you must be stronger with the ball.”
Luehrman echoed his sentiments. “Playing with varsity players is a lot different because they are stronger than me and the same height or taller.” However, they both seem to be adjusting well.