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Senior class has turned Shawano into a winning basketball program

Senior class has turned Shawano into a winning basketball program
Posted at 12:43 PM, Jan 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-22 13:43:55-05

SHAWANO — The Shawano boys basketball team is off to a pretty good start this year as they’re near the top of the bay conference.

A storied basketball school if you go back 70 years ago, that has not had too much success in the last decade, but now three seniors have flipped the program back to their winning ways.

“That’s the goal every day right? Come in as freshman, get in the program and turn it around by the time we’re seniors and I think we’ve done a good job of that,” said senior guard Michael Metcalf-Grassman.

The Hawks have been a middle of the road squad the last decade or so, that was until this year’s senior class started to turn the tide of the program last year with a 16-9 record.

“This is a great group of young men,” said head coach David Ambrosius. “A lot of these guys were up as sophomores as we were taking some of those lumps and we were going through the hard times and we’re kind of coming out and getting to enjoy the good times together right now, so certainly it’s a really special group. It’s a group that’s been close to my heart for a long time and it’s just a great group to work with.”

Now this year, they’re on track to be even better, currently 11-3 overall and second in the Bay conference behind Xavier.

“A lot of have been up on varsity for quite awhile now,” said senior forward Brandon Reed. “Stuff is starting to click. Growing pains that we had years ago are finally turning the other way and we’re starting to finish games and we’re playing strong.”

It's three seniors in particular who are leading the way for the Hawks.

Starting with Metcalf-Grassman, who has been the key to their success. Leading the team in scoring since last year. He’s averaging 20 points and seven rebounds per game this year.

“Just his play on the court – It’s unmatchable,” said senior guard Jacob Landon. “He’s such an unselfish player, he knows all the right spots, we work well with him – it’s poetry I guess.”

“Mikey’s special,” said Reed. “You don’t alway get to say that you get to play with a guy who is probably going to score 1,000 points and go off to play ball at the next level, so it’s awesome.”

You have to be a special player if you get this kind of praise from your head coach.

“I think he’s going to be one of those guys that we talk about in 10…15…20 years from now that is one of the best players that has ever come through Shawano basketball,” Ambrosius said of Metcalf-Grassman.

Then there’s Reed, the guy who does the work nobody talks about. He’s averaging 11 points per game.

“Great on ball defender,” his head coach said. “He does a lot of the dirty work for us that doesn’t always get all of the credit and I think his offensive game is just starting to come around.”

Lastly there’s Landon. He actually led the team in scoring his sophomore season. This year he’s tied with Reed for second on the team in points per game.

“Very high basketball IQ,” Ambrosius said. “Loves to come after practices with ideas that he’s got with things that we can improve on and as coaches we kind of love to take his viewpoint of what he’s seeing on the floor and try to implement that in what we do every single day.”

turning the hawks into a winning program has been thought about for quite some time with these three –since third grade

“We’ve always thought as kids, ‘when we get up here, we’re going to be the ones that turn it around’ and so far we’ve been doing that and it feels good,” Metcalf-Grassman said.

“That’s something that we had in our heads, hey we want to be the winning group and we want to change the program for the future and hopefully we've done what we can to do that,” said Landon.

With plenty of season left, this squad is hoping to make a run in the playoffs, but also that they showed the younger players what it takes to keep this program a winning one.

“They’re really taught the rest of our younger players how to be dedicated in the offseason, either in the weight room, summer leagues, open gyms, or in anything that you do, give 100%. I think they show that and live that every single day,” Ambrosius said.