Turkey Tourney Preveiw: New Athens Yellow Jackets

By Steve Dunford 

The New Athens Yellow Jackets make their debut this year in the 43rd annual Christopher Thanksgiving Tournament.

They were supposed to make their debut last year, but there was a contract snafu and they were in the Carlyle Kaskaskian Classic.

New Athens has an enrollment of 165, and they play in the Cahokia conference.

I asked Yellow Jacket coach Conrad  Widdersheim to tell about his team.  “I have three seniors: center Jaxon Heintz (6’6″), guard/forward Joel Mattingly (5’11”) and guard Landon Deutschman (5’9″); 1 junior guard George Schneider (5’8″) and 1 sophomore guard/forward Joe Range (6’1″) in my starting five. I’ve got a collection of 4 other sophomores and 1 freshman coming off my bench. Heintz is the only returning starter from last year and he has been an all-conference selection the past two years.”

They open with the Thompsonville Tigers on Tuesday Night at 6:15 p.m.  I asked him what his game plan was going up against the Tigers.  “We don’t know a lot about Thompsonville. We got the chance to play them this summer, but in the summertime so many kids are missing it’s tough to gauge a team. We’ll just do what we’ve been working on which is playing tough defense and taking high-quality shots.”

The Tournament opens on Monday night with Wayne City facing Norris City Omaha-Enfield at 6:15 p.m.  Christopher will face Waltonville at 7:45 p.m.  Zeigler-Royalton faces Webber Township at 7:45 p.m.

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