by: Micah Morris
There is something about basketball season. Something about the way the ball sounds hitting the hardwood, or the swish of the perfect shot going through the net. Basketball is different. Basketball is what keeps us warm during the cold, snowy months of the winter. Unlike most other sports, being at a live basketball game puts fans close to the action. Just feet from players, hearing the communication on the court and hearing the same sounds as the players gets spectators more involved and invested in the game. It was Basketball that brought Broadway High School its first State Championship trophy, back in 2017. Basketball signals the changing seasons, as autumn rolls into winter, as the leaves fall off the trees, the sound of each dribble is like a drumbeat, leading fans into the gym.
The Broadway Gobblers Boys and Girls Basketball teams kick off their respective seasons in late November, and the Gobblers Sports Network is the home for 20 basketball broadcasts this winter!
The BHS Girls are under the direction of Head Coach Jeremy Fulk, who enters his second season on the sidelines for the Gobblers and is looking to lead his young team to the Region 3C Tournament. The Gobblers feature a combination of experienced leaders and fresh faces that the coaching staff hopes to meld into a cohesive unit, with a sharp-shooting, fast paced offense and a suffocating defense. The Gobblers will be led by five familiar faces. Sophomore Wren Wheeler is the leading returning scorer for the Gobblers this season. Wheeler, who averaged 13.3 points per game as a freshman, will look to continue her stellar play into her second season on the varsity squad. Throughout the 2021-2022 season, Wheeler made more Free Throws (79) than any other BHS player attempted. In addition to being the leading returning scorer, Wheeler also pulled down 6.2 rebounds and dished out 1.6 assists last season. Also returning for the Gobblers this season will be Seniors Lindsey Wimer and Lily Gatesman and Juniors Maya Bacon and Alexa Dingus. The team also features a large group of newcomers this season. Sophomores Jerin Billmeyer and Savannah Janzen will be joined by Freshmen Kaley Runion, April Gingerich, Lilah Deavers and Hannah Tinnell.
The BHS Girls, looking to improve on their 7-12 finish from a season ago, will open this season on November 28 when they host Waynesboro. The BHS Girls schedule features multiple playoff teams including dates with 2022 Group AA State Runner-Up Buffalo Gap. The Valley District promises to be a gauntlet again this year. The Gobblers will face a trio of Playoffs teams from last season including Spotswood, a team that advanced to the Group AAA State Tournament in March. The Gobblers begin Valley District play when they host Spotswood on January 6.
The Broadway Boys Basketball Team is looking to continue their most recent run of success under longtime Head Coach Dwight Walton. The Gobblers have advanced to the Region 3C Tournament in two of the last three seasons and will look to use a variety of returning players as well as new faces to accomplish that goal again this season. Broadway is coming off a 13-9 season and a trip to the Region Tournament where the Gobblers fell to Liberty Christian Academy in Lynchburg. The Gobblers will be forced to replace 60% of their scoring from a season ago, but will have no shortage of options to find the points. Seniors Caleb Barnes and Jowell Santiago are among the returning starters for Coach Walton and his staff. Barnes averaged 8.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game last season. Jowell Santiago, who also runs indoor and outdoor track at BHS, returns to lead the backcourt for the Gobblers. Santiago averaged 5.3 points per game and 2.3 assists per game last season. Seniors Breylon Miller and Mike Jerichen return this season as well as juniors Conner Michael and Kevin Santiago. Miller appeared in 18 games as junior last season and will be asked to use is long body on both ends of the floor. Kevin Santiago played in 14 games last season for the Gobblers and Conner Michael played in 15 games, both players will be asked to step up big for the Gobblers this season.
Joining the returning players is a host of newcomers to the Varsity Squad this season. Juniors Jet Gonzalez and Denzel Familia will join Sophomores Sam Post, Tristan Yoder and Braden Burkhalter looking to be part of the deep rotation this winter. Yoder hits the hardwood after recently finishing in the Top 10 at the Group AA State Cross Country Meet in the fall. The BHS Boys have another challenging schedule in front of them, including contests with six playoffs teams from a year ago. After opening the season by hosting Charlottesville on November 30, Broadway will host their annual “Tip-Off Tournament”. The two-day event (December 2 & 3) includes teams from BHS, Eastern Mennonite High School, Monticello High School and Potomac Falls High School. The Gobblers are also scheduled to play in a Holiday Tournament at Cave Spring High School in Roanoke after Christmas. The Valley District promises to be tough again this season as the Gobblers will face each opponent both at home and on the road. The Gobblers open district play by hosting Turner Ashby on January 10.
The entire BHS Basketball schedule can be found at www.broadwaysports.org.
BHS Coach Dwight Walton and Assistant Coach Terry Jameson talk with the Boys team during a timeout at a scrimmage.