Photos by Phillip Steinmetz
Story by Carlos Molina
With high school basketball starting back into play, Jeffersonville fans will be looking forward to watching old names, such as returning juniors Bailey Falkenstein and Gerrin Moore, with the leadership of senior Michael Minton.
But few know much of the young, talented freshmen players this year’s team will carry.
Jacob Jones, a freshman point guard, will be one of the two freshmen expected to get playing time on Varsity. Tre’ Coleman, a power/small forward, is also expected to see minutes.
As for Jones, the 5-9 guard has been playing basketball ever since he started grade school at Maple Elementary. During the offseason, he joins his AAU basketball teams, the ‘Ville and the Eric Gordon All-Stars, which has helped the guard out with his ball skills.
“I’ve been playing basketball since pre-school, and I play AAU all year, and school basketball. So I have a lot of experience,” Jones said.
As a freshman, the expectations for Jones are set high; not only by his coach, but as well as his teammates. Junior Gerrin Moore, who was the last freshman to start in a JHS varsity game in 2014, sees talent in the 15-year-old.
“He’s young but a lot is expected from him,” Moore said, “He’s going to do well setting up the offense and I think he’ll be able to add some points to the board.”
Jones did exactly that in the home opener, recording 13 points in a season-opening win against No. 7 Southport on Nov. 23.
“I am just expected to help my team win games,” Jones said. “Contributing however I can, whether it’s scoring, rebounding or playing defense.”
With the upcoming season, head coach Joe Luce expects Jones to contribute to his new system by starting him and giving him more playing time in games. His confidence in what Jones can bring to the table has given him a more relaxed player on the court.
“The biggest thing with Jacob is to just relax and play his game,” head coach Joe Luce said. “He’s had the chance to experience a lot of different basketball games as far as AAU, junior high and travel ball. It’s a lot different playing at eight o’clock on the Varsity level. And with him, we want him to relax and play his game.”
Jones’ unique and vast skill set has been what has made him stand out the most of all the other freshman. In the Red Devils scrimmage against Charlestown on Nov. 15, Jones showed what kind of talent he can bring to this year’s squad, tallying no turnovers and leading the team with 16 points.
“He brings a lot of energy. He’s very quick with the ball, gets it up and down the floor, finds open men and he’s very unselfish,” Luce said. “The one thing he did in our scrimmage against Charlestown is shoot the ball very well. He’s a good decision-maker that plays very hard and brings lots of energy to this team.”
Jones, and the rest of the Red Devils, will be back in action at home on Friday, Dec. 9 in a HHC conference matchup against Seymour. JV tip off to begin at 6 p.m., followed by Varsity at 7:30 p.m.
Story by Phillip Steinmetz, Photos by Jay Williams
On Tuesday night, Jeffersonville basketball officially started their season with a home scrimmage against Charlestown. This was the first time anyone has seen this years boys team with the first regular season game just around the corner against Southport next Wednesday. They played five 12 minute running quarters, four of varsity and one of junior varsity. The young Red Devils looked impressive the entire night and showed great potential for a team with only two seniors on the roster.
Jacob Jones looks poised for a standout freshman season
Could there be any more pressure on the freshman point guard? He’s been asked to start varsity as a freshman on a team that is rich with tradition and pride. This scrimmage was the first time a lot of people have seen him play on this kind of level. The freshman guard impressed early and often. He shot the ball with confidence as hemade his first basket with a corner three and played sworming on ball defense throughout. Jones played quite a bit in the scrimmage and only committed one turnover on a bad pass in transition. He won’t impress you with size or his passing ability but he plays with the type of confidence that makes him able to compete with the bigger and stronger guards. Jacob Jones lead the team in scoring with 16 points and looks poised to lead the Red Devils in scoring for quite a bit of games this season and will only improve as the season goes forward.
Interior defense could be an issue until Coleman is eligible
In the starting lineup for the interior it included Gerrin Moore, Michael Minton and Bailey Falkenstein. Junior Jaden Coleman figures to be the main big man in the post this year once he’s eligible but the timetable has yet to be figured out for when he will be cleared to play after playing at Rock Creek last season. Jeff figures to be able to score in the post with Moore being able to put the ball on the floor and having a soft touch around the rim but defending the post is a different story. Senior Cam Northern played the best on defense in the post with being the biggest player on the team. When Coleman is eligible though, is when the Red Devils could really take off. He is a lengthy and athletic forward that can crash the boards with the best of them. The Pirates got most of their points in the paint and were able to draw fouls going toward the basket. Until Coleman is eligible, the weak point of the Red Devils will be the interior defense play.
Shooting the ball with consistency will be key for the young Red Devils
Jeffersonville is going to be one of the better shooting teams this year. The Red Devils combined to make 10 three’s on the night with Jones leading the way with four long range baskets. Gabe Gallahar and Michael Minton had two a piece, LaGrange and Falkenstein had one each also. The perimeter defense wasn’t the best for Charlestown but making ten three’s is still something impressive. Jeff has six shooters that are reliable from beyond the arc on any given night and they showed it Tuesday against Charlestown. LaGrange has the most potential to be a lights out shooter but getting open shots consistently will be the only issue. Gallahar looked more aggressive in finding his shot which could be what he is asked to do the most this season. If the Red Devils are able to hit at least ten three’s a night on a decent percentage, they could hang around with some of the tougher teams in the state.
In all, Tuesday night was an impressive showing by the Red Devils. Yeah, it’s only Charlestown but last season Jeff only won 72-61 at home. Jeffersonville is going to be really young, but they showed flashes of what could be a promising season behind who looked like the most dominant player on the court last night, Bailey Falkenstein. He was the player to get everyone going and in position to have such a successful game against the Pirates. The combination of his strength and scoring ability should make him the leading scorer for the Red Devils this season.
Story by Jalin Ernest
Jeff has strived to produce many great improvements around the school these past two years, such as the new Radio/TV station, new basketball court and bleachers, and getting the approval for a new auditorium.
These improvements have made JHS students and visitors interested to see what everything looks like, which should help bring out more people to the games. The additions draw more attention to Jeff High as a whole, including the basketball program.
But despite living in a basketball hotbed, Jeff High has more than one sport that could bring in a lot of fans, not to mention money, for the athletic department.
Something I think that would help build Jeff High’s overall fan base is turf fields for the football, soccer and baseball teams. (I’d say softball, too, but most of the infield is all dirt.)
The turf product would give a new look to the fields, and maybe even be the first of many to come in the future if other schools in our area, or around the state, like the idea.
“Turf has better traction and would keep our jerseys cleaner,” senior football player Ian Francisco said. “I think it would look really good, and we all want it. Some of the schools we play have them and I love playing on it.”
So why turf?
According to FieldTurf.com, the world leader in artificial turf, the total cost of a having an artificial field put in would be around $750,000. For that price, the field would last between eight and 10 years, or roughly $75,000 every year.
Yes, this is a lot of money. However in the long run, the price tag would be worth it. Turf fields are easier to take care of and the grounds crew would rarely, if ever, cut the actual turf.
“I think it would be a great idea,” junior baseball player Gabe Bierman said. “I’ve played on many turf baseball fields across the country, so I’m very used to it. Plus it’s nice.”
Many would say that they do not need turf because of the cost, or because it could interfere with the season. In my opinion, it would look so much better, especially during our unpredictable weather patterns.
With the new East End Bridge set to open in December, students from high schools in Kentucky may decide to explore high schools in southern Indiana. If we got turf for our football, soccer, and baseball teams, we could also potentially attract more student athletes because of our facilities.
After all, the better our facilities are, the more highly people will think of Jeff High as a whole when it comes to athletics.
If other local schools can support turf fields, such as New Albany and Seymour, who says we can’t? And these schools are our rivals — we can’t fall behind any more.
Story by Pat Duerr
Mike Flynn and Tony Winburn, two Jeffersonville High School basketball legends, have become enshrined in the city that built them.
Two basketball courts at Richard L. Vissing Park, located in the Oak Park neighborhood, have been named after the pair. While the star basketball players showcased their talent while at JHS, their careers after high school are what made them so loved.
Flynn became Jeffersonville’s first Indiana Mr. Basketball before attending the University of Kentucky to play basketball for three seasons. After Flynn graduated from college, the 6-3 guard went on to play four years in the NBA for the Indiana Pacers, before finishing his career in Sweden.
Winburn played at Indiana University Southeast before transferring to the University of Evansville. Winburn and 28 others, though, were tragically killed in a plane crash in 1977, cutting short his life.
The courts, which are painted black in the middle of the park, have the respective players’ names painted at half-court circling a crisp, red basketball.
The courts provide not only eye candy in the park, but a new place for young players to hone their skills — exactly how the names they are playing on did in the past.