Alumni games kick off VCC hoops season

by Tom Coombe

The Vermilion Community College basketball teams get a preseason test Saturday with their annual alumni games.<BR><BR>The women’s game opens the doubleheader at 1 p.m, with the men to follow for a 3 p.m. start.<BR><BR>Both Vermilion squads head into the 2004-2005 campaign needing a boost from their incoming freshmen.<BR><BR>The men have just two returning players - Aaron Overbye and Nate Donald - from a team that went 20-7 and was runner-up in the state a year ago.<BR><BR>Veteran coach Paul McDonald, beginning his 15th season at Vermilion is relying on several new players as well as sophomore transfer Gavin Erickson to fill the void.<BR><BR>They will take on an alumni team that includes former VCC stars Dejuan Goodwin, Edward Smith, Derrelle Murray, Art Frazier, Bill Fetsch, Jesse Ahlbrecht, Harold Martin, Brad Matuszak, Josh Matel, John Muhlenpoh.<BR><BR>Also a possibility for the alumni squad is Ronald Hearns, who is now a professional boxer.<BR><BR>The Ironwomen hope to improve after a three-win season and second-year coach Ray Podominick will have plenty of local flavor on the squad.<BR><BR>The roster includes four Elyites - sophomore Krystle Smrekar and first-year players Gena Jerich, Lara Doran and Jill Manning.<BR><BR>The womens’s team squares off with an alumni group that includes previous standouts such as Jen Eilertson, Jodi Brummer, Jayme Wick, April Strom, Sabrina Hollander and Sarah Goette. <BR><BR>Both the Ironmen and Ironwomen open the regular season here Nov. 19-20 with four-team tournaments.<BR><BR>