JOHNSTOWN — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been nearly two years since the Johnstown boys’ basketball team has played a full season.
The Sir Bills were able to play a condensed, eight-game schedule over a span of 12 days last March, but that has been their only on-court action since February 2020.
“It’s been two years since we’ve had a normal season, so it will be a bit of a learning curve, especially with our younger guys,” Johnstown coach Phil Satterlee said. “They’re still looking to shake the rust off a little bit.”
That’s understandable, given the circumstances.
Johnstown went 3-5 last March in games against Mayfield, Northville, Broadalbin-Perth and Gloversville as COVID protocols limited Fulton County teams to in-county play.
“The season we had last winter was good to five guys the opportunity to have some sort of season,” Satterlee said.
The Sir Bills return an experienced group that includes four seniors and five juniors.
“We’ve got a lot of returning guys this year,” Satterlee said. “They are familiar with the system that we’re running.”
Seniors Kyle Everest, Bryce Mureness, Jared Stewart and Steven VanNostrand all return for Johnstown, along with juniors Jordan Fox, Brandon Frank, Braden Jones, Elijah Jones and Nathan Waight.
Sophomores Matthew Wheelis and Ryan Hoyt round out the Sir Bills’ roster.
Unlike last year, Johnstown was able to hold open gyms in preparation for the season.
“We were able to get some preseason work in. It’s nice to be able to prepare the guys to start the season,” Satterlee said.
In its last full season in 2019-20, Johnstown was 1-19 overall and 1-17 in Foothills Council play.
Satterlee said he’s looking to improve on those numbers this season.
“We want to win every game we play. We don’t show up not looking to win,” he said. “This group works hard and wants to learn.”
With a relatively normal season ready to begin, Johnstown is looking forward to getting back on the court.
“We’re ready to roll,” Satterlee said. “We’re hoping everything goes as smoothly as possible.”
Johnstown is scheduled to travel to Queensbury on Dec. 3 to open its season in Foothills play.