Jackson Newspapers - Ripley, WV
  • Viking Basketball experiencing a youth movement

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  • RIPLEY - As the three-week period that the WVSSAC allows coaches to participate in off-season coaching came to an end on June 29, it provides the skippers a glimpse into the future of their program and perhaps a barometer of how much interest the program has generated in sheer numbers.
    Ripley basketball coach Craig Harmon always enjoys this three-week period with his squad.
    "We have had really good participation numbers over that period and we are excited about the future of the program," said Harmon.
    Ripley has had some stand out performances this summer by sophomore Luke Layhew (6-5) and freshman guard Jamison Hunt (5-10), among others.
    An athletic 6-foot-4 freshman post player named Chase Johnson has also opened some eyes with his work in the paint for the Vikings.
    While the squad will be led by returning seniors Kade Harrison and Drew Harpold, Ripley will have a youthful but very talented supporting cast.
    Cody Bailey, Morgan Graves, Dylan Hall, Jack Victory, Justin McKown and Logan McKinney are also returning after receiving time on the floor under assistant coach Steve Hunt's jayvee squad.
    "We have some young guys who have put in the work this summer and they are really coming along well," said Hunt. Harmon was direct when speaking about who his starting five could potentially be.
    "I am going to put my best five men on the floor and it all starts with getting game experience in the summer," he said.
    "The players who put in the work now will have an advantage when the season rolls around. We appreciate their dedication to our ball team."
    Ripley finished last season at (7-16 MSAC 2-13).
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