Standing along the baseline during an early-season game last year, Pioneer standout Drew Lowder was watching the Huron basketball team run up and down the floor. The River Rats were a very young team last year, featuring a roster of talented sophomores among others.
When the person Lowder was talking to mentioned that they could go a long way in a couple years, the Pioneer senior nodded his head in agreement. He then added his own take, “they could go a long way this year.”
One of the more interesting sports stories this winter season in Ann Arbor takes the court on Dec. 10 at EMU. Expectations are high for the River Rats who with a full season behind them and the spending the last 10 months getting better should be an exciting team in 2019-20.
Will they be District good? Regional good? State Finals good? State Champions good? Everything is on the table considering the coach, the talent, the work ethic and the passion.
Huron went 14-7 last year and finished second in the competitive SEC Red Division. Waleed Samaha, one of the best coaches around, begins his second season coaching the boys’ team at Huron. And you bet he’s excited, yet measured – like all great coaches.
“We expect to compete for SEC, District, Regional, Final Four and State Championship,” Samaha said. Yes, that’s how good this team is and for Samaha to say they are playing for the biggest prize of all only proves that this group busted it during the off-season.
“We have good team chemistry,” Samaha says. “We play smart and we have a lot of skilled players. We need to work on execution, rebounding and defense.”
Top returning players include Julian Lewis and Devin Womack, who both made SEC All-Conference First Team last year. Also back are Kingsely Perkins, Tyson Edmondson and Mike Robinson, who were all SEC Honorable Mention last season.
Forward Brandon Rawls is new to the team this season.
The River Rats open Dec. 10 against Detroit Edison at EMU. Their home opener is Jan. 14 against Monroe.