High School Sports

Weddington’s Ryan Schwieger brings versatility, ‘unselfish’ attitude to Warriors’ lineup

rlahser@charlotteobserver.com

Ryan Schwieger doesn’t play just one position for Weddington’s boys’ basketball team.

In fact, coach Gary Ellington said the junior can play all five.

Schwieger got off to a good start in his first varsity season in 2014-15, when he averaged 12.2 points and 7.1 rebounds.

The Warriors return this season after the graduation of 12 seniors, who led them to 51 wins in two seasons. Schwieger, who is 6-foot-6 and 185 pounds, will be asked to play a bigger role with the departure of so much experience.

“We have had some great teams since I’ve been at Weddington, and even though we’ve got some guys in new roles his year, we don’t want to lower expectations here,” Schwieger, 16, said. “Our focus and our goal is to win a conference championship (in the Southern Carolina 3A) and then make a run for a state championship.”

Besides Schwieger, 6-4 senior forward Tucker Snyder is the only other returning starter. Ellington expects two juniors – Timmy Havens and Casey Littlejohn – to join senior Kyle Langevin as his primary ball-handlers. He said Schwieger also will play considerable minutes on the perimeter.

“At 6-foot-6, he handle the ball, shoot, rebound and play good defense,” Ellington said. “We are going to ask him to do a lot. He’s a very unselfish player and we don’t want to completely change that.

“We have been working on getting him out of his comfort zone and getting him to be more aggressive.”

Ellington believes Schwieger is just starting to reach his potential, and area colleges have noticed.

Schwieger received his first scholarship offer from Presbyterian over the summer, and Davidson, Elon, Furman, Winthrop and Wofford have shown interest.

“I don’t worry a lot about the recruiting stuff,” said Schwieger, who also boasts 4.3 GPA. “I just try to focus on working hard. I want to be a better player next week than I was last week. I always try to be focused on the process.”

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