Editor's Note: This post was submitted to Beachwood Patch by BeachwoodBison.org. Visit their website for more on the Bison.
The Beachwood Bison were so close to a Division III district championship last year, they could taste it.
This season, Coach Jason Pecjak and company are focused on feasting on the challenge of competing for a spot in the Sweet 16 - and more.
Beachwood is coming off a 14-9 campaign in 2011-2012. The Bison competed in the CVC Metro against eventual Division IV Garfield Heights District champ Richmond Heights. The competitiveness of the regular-season schedule prepared Beachwood for a run in the Division III Harvey District tournament, which resulted in a district final appearance against Chanel. The Bison lost in double overtime, 69-67, but the game provided motivation and inspiration for the upcoming season.
“I think that district final changed the whole program,” Pecjak said. “The kids finally believed that they could get to the regionals. The program took a big step forward and the team believed they should have won that game, and then saw that Chanel got to the state final four. That was a big moment for our school and our team.”
There is plenty of reason for optimism heading into the 2012-2013 season for the Bison and for the program to take another step forward.
Junior guard John Davis is an All-Ohioan who averaged 16 points and six rebounds per game last season. He has received a scholarship offer from Delaware and interest from several other Division I programs.
Jordan Richardson is a 6-foot-3 senior forward who was close to averaging a double-double last year. Ronald Jones is a promising 6-4 freshman. Julio Stevens is a talented 6-0 junior guard who will have a major impact on the season for Beachwood.
Sterling Stevens and Jon Tramer are backcourt players that Pecjak will count on as key contributors for the Bison.
“Our defensive pressure is a key to the whole season. How we play on that end of the floor and what kind of tempo we can create is big for us,” Pecjak said.
“We have to play Richmond Heights twice. We play St. Edward. We play Barberton. Those are the kind of games we need to play to move forward and see where we are as a program.”