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Manchester boys basketball season highlighted by milestone

3/6/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

NEW FRANKLIN — Gene Schindewolf has racked up 403 wins as the head coach of the Manchester High School boys basketball team.

The 2013-14 season was the 28th year at the school for Schindewolf, who won his 400th game Feb. 11, when the Panthers defeated Waterloo High School 60-51. The coach has a career total of 451 wins, including his time as the head coach at Dalton High School prior to his arrival at Manchester.

Schindewolf, however, said reaching milestones isn’t something to which he pays much attention.

“That’s never anything I went into coaching for. The wins and losses, numbers-wise, don’t mean that much to me,” he said. “I guess it means that I’ve been around for a long time, but the important things to me are developing kids and the relationships that come out of it. The numbers aren’t why I am coaching or why I started coaching.”

Overall, this year’s Manchester boys basketball team finished 8-14, including a 4-8 mark in the PAC-7.

“We had a couple of games that we never got rescheduled, so that’s why there’s only 22 games,” the coach said. “I think we always look to go .500 or better, so we didn’t meet those expectations, but the thing I was most proud about was that we ended up the season with a four-game win streak. That shows that the kids were working hard and we finally made some things happen. They worked hard all year long and I give them a lot of credit for that. They never gave up, and that’s to their credit.”

Manchester won its first sectional tournament game against South Range High School 58-54 Feb. 25, but fell in the next round to Canton Central Catholic High School 62-44 Feb. 28.

“I think we played our best basketball down the stretch, and that’s when you want to do that,” Schindewolf said.

Manchester had four seniors in its starting lineup — Kanyon Collins, Matt Sipos, Austin Klein and Chandler Stahl — and the coach said he is proud of the way they played during their careers on the team.

“Overall, they kept working hard. We didn’t always make shots we could have made, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort. They were always trying to get better,” Schindewolf said. “Success is not always measured in wins and losses — those are the nice things that happen when you work hard and get breaks and all that. But I told the seniors in the locker room after Canton Central Catholic that I would hire them in a heartbeat. I know their work ethic, I know that they cared, and that’s what you want from a group of guys.”

The coach also singled out seniors Jacob Sharkey and Matt Bates for their constant efforts to improve the program.

“They didn’t get a whole lot of playing time, but these two kids worked as hard as any two kids I’ve ever had,” he said. “Even up to the last practice this past Thursday, they were working as hard, if not harder, than anybody out there. I really appreciate their efforts.”

Schindewolf said the team is losing a lot of quality players to graduation heading into next season, but added he has some good players set to return.

“We will need to keep working. We have a few kids coming back to the program who played varsity this year, so there’s experience there,” he said. “We have our point guard back (Pavin Parks), and we have two forwards back (Logan Speer and Cole Richmond) that logged a lot of minutes as the season went on, so those are three people that we can build around. We’ve got a lot of work to do here in the offseason, and that’s something we’ll start as soon as we can. But we’ve got a nucleus. It’s not a complete clean slate that we’re starting with.”

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