By Shawn Stinson
The groundwork is being set for the 2022-23 Pendleton County boys basketball team.
The Wildcats participated in a summer tournament in Keyser and finished fourth in the regular season and tournament. Pendleton coach, Jeremy Bodkin, said it was good experience for the players to build on last season’s success. Pendleton finished with a 19-4 record and an appearance in the Class A quarterfinal round in Charleston.
“At this time last year, we didn’t have anything going on,” Bodkin said. “It was a lot of good experience for some of the young guys. Even the junior varsity guys were able to play four games this summer.”
The members of the Pendleton County Board of Education selected Bodkin at their Oct. 12, 2021, meeting, as head coach at Pendleton. Bodkin replaced Ryan Lambert, who resigned as coach following his promotion to principal at Brandywine Elementary School.
The Wildcats lost three starters – Cole Day, Braden McClanahan and Tanner Townsend – from last season’s squad. Bodkin praised the play of returning starters Jacob Beachler and Clayton Kisamore as well as returning players Braydon Beachler and Dusty Smith during the summer. In addition, Bodkin mentioned three incoming freshmen as catching his eye for their play – Cashton Kisamore, Chase Owens and Henry Warner.
Pendleton also participated in a one-day tournament in Shinnston. Bodkin said his team went 0-3 but squared off with Class AA, Class AAA and Class AAAA schools.
“We learned a lot that day,” he said.
Earlier this summer, Bodkin and members of the 2021-22 varsity and junior varsity teams gathered for an awards picnic.
Day and Townsend were named as co-offensive most valuable players, and Clayton Kisamore was tabbed as defensive most valuable player. Jacob Beachler was selected as the most improved player, and Dusty Smith was picked to receive the Wildcat award.
Josiah Kimble was named as the JV team’s offensive most valuable player, and Dillion Smith was the defensive most valuable player. Wyatt Franklin was tapped as the most improved player, and Bradey Bowers earned the Wildcat award.