WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - The Rider boys basketball team lost seven non-district games a year ago before an undefeated district schedule and trip to the third round of the playoffs.
This season, they are 21-4 heading into district and the Raiders say they are more of a team threat instead of individual players.
“I think it makes us more dangerous to have a lot of different options," Rider head coach Cliff McGuire said. "Not just one or two that you can point your defense toward. It makes it where we aren’t going into a game saying ‘We gotta get this guy going,’ the game really decides who gets going.”
“I think all of us together," Rider sophomore guard Dylan Fettkether said. "There’s not a main role model out here, I think it’s all of us together competing as a group and succeeding in that direction.”
But the Raiders have still had some players stand out like senior DaShawn Jefferson who, in his first year on varsity, is scoring almost 15 points a game and leads the area with 12 rebounds a game.
After spending his junior season on the JV, it’s his work ethic that his him playing a big role for Rider.
“Get them extra shots up and being focused and pretty much engaged and listen to what the coach tells you what to do," senior forward DaShawn Jefferson said.
“What DaShawn does on both ends is really the tipping point for everything we do," coach McGuire said. "And the offensive board is huge. He has more offensive rebounds than defensive rebounds on the season.”
But one player who would challenge Jefferson as the hardest worker is sophomore Dylan Fettkether, whose effort and hustle make him a leader.
“Dylan is a big spark plug for us," coach McGuire said. "There were several games this year where he comes out and he sets the tone defensively, sets the tone by pushing the tempo. He’s your blue-collar kid who is just going to show up every day and work hard.”
“Any time the ball is on the ground, I just dive," Fettkether said. "I get everybody pumped even if I’m not fully involved in the game, I’m on the bench cheering everybody on; getting everybody pumped up.”
Dylan has really embraced that role as the energy guy and the Raiders will need him and others to continue to progress as the district slate begins.
Rider opens district play on the road at Abilene Cooper next Tuesday.