GALION — Ryan Stover hit the ground running this week after being named as the new head coach of the Galion High School boys basketball program.
Stover, who comes to Galion after two seasons as an assistant coach at Mid Ohio Athletic Conference rival River Valley, held a meet and greet with players and their families on Monday and then the Tigers then hit the court for summer workouts on Tuesday. The new coach said there’s much work to be done, but he’s looking forward to the task. He believes it’s a good fit.
“I coached against them for two years when I was at River Valley and saw the talent level. Kids looked like they played hard, gave some energy, gave some effort,” said Stover, who is an alumnus of Highland High School in Marengo, which is rejoining the MOAC for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. “I believe there’s some shooters on this team and we’re going to give them the opportunities to shoot the basketball. They play hard. Defensively, there’s some kids that really get after it.
“It’s a great community and a really good school. Everybody I’ve met is super-nice. They have a good following and that’s a good thing for the kids. Hopefully, the kids will have a good career with me.”
There were four seniors on the Tigers roster for the 2020-2021 season. Point guard Rece Payne was an All-MOAC selection as a junior in 2020-2021. He led a group of underclassmen who saw significant playing time. That group included Jaxon Oswald, Hudson Miller, Andy Sparks, Hanif Donaldson, Kyle Foust, and Cooper Kent.
Stover said he wants the Tigers to play an aggressive, up-tempo style of basketball.
“We’re going to get up and down the floor. We’re going to shoot,” Stover said. “Our best shooters are probably going to take more shots than some of the others. We’re going to work hard to get them open. We want to get up and down the floor in transition and try to make shots. We’re going to play really hard-nosed, tough, physical defense — without fouling. That’s always the question mark. Depends on the officials.
“We’re going to try to speed the opposing teams up and try to create some turnover. We will apply some pressure. It may not be every game. May not be every possession,” he added. “We are going to mix it up, do a little three-quarter court, a little full-court, to try to throw some teams off.”
Stover takes the reins of the program following the resignation of Bobby Gossom, who was head coach of the Tigers for two seasons and was with the program for three seasons overall. Stover is the fifth head coach of the Galion boys basketball program since 2011.
Stover said he is working to fill out his coaching staff. Taylor Sabo will return from the 2020-2021 coaching staff.
After getting a late start on summer workouts, Stover said he’s working the phones to try to schedule a couple of scrimmages and possibly get the Tigers into some team shootouts, if possible.
“The biggest thing is to get them in here, get them playing, get their skill set better,” he said. “Everyone’s skill set needs to get better every day, so that’s my main goal right now. We need to get guys to buy in and get better.”
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