SALINEVILLE, Ohio (WYTV) – Aaron Blatch, a 2005 graduate of Southern Local, is taking over the High School Boys’ Basketball program at his Alma mater. Blatch discussed his recent hire with WKBN.com:
It’s an honor to be the head coach at Southern Local. I’ve coached here for the last nine years under Coach Whittaker, and I’ve passed up opportunities to go elsewhere in hopes for this opportunity. I really believe that being from Southern is an advantage because I’m familiar with players on all levels of the program, and I am familiar with the community. Because I have coached at every level of the K-12 program, I believe I have a great feel for our personnel and what it will take for us to be successful.
Blatch will succeed his former high school coach, George Whittaker, who took over the Indians program in 2000. He finished with a career record of 184-155 for the Blue & Gold in 15 seasons.
After serving multiple roles for the district’s basketball program over the past nine years, the current eighth-grade Language Arts teacher at Southern is excited about what the Indians can do this fall:
I really like the character and talent of our team. We have good, hard-working kids who will continue to get better. At the high school level, I believe that you need good guards to win consistently. We have two potentially excellent ones in Troy Holden and Michael Shope. We have above-average athleticism on the wing with Christian Adkins, Domanick Michael, Drew Sevek, Dakota Wetzel, and Brandon Burns, so we want to get out and run in transition. We also have a skilled post in Jaret Dowling, who can play inside and out. If we learn to compete every possession defensively, I think we can have a very solid season. I am excited to see our seniors step into leadership roles and help our program create its culture and identity.