Captains fueling Vikings' success

Feb 04 2019 | 01:57 AM

VERNON — The Vernon High School boy’s basketball is performing quite well on the court this season with great leadership not only by the coaching staff, but by the captains on the roster as well.
A pair of senior guards, Ben DiCarlo and Jadon Mutz, are the captains for the Vikings this winter and they have the full support not only of the coaching staff, but also of their teammates.
“These two players were chosen by our team with a vote," Vernon head coach Joseph Byrne said. “They were probably the two players we, as a coaching staff, would have chosen anyway because of their hard working attitude and the way carry themselves on and off the floor.
“The best part about our captains is that their leadership doesn't necessarily show up on the stat sheet. They both lead by example. Jadon is always working hard and does the little things to make our team better; whether it’s hustling for a loose ball or boxing out the other team’s best rebounder. Ben is a defensive specialist and typically guards the opposing team's best guard. He takes pride in that position and does a great job."
Both student-athletes began competing in the sport at a young age.
“I started playing basketball when I was six years old,’’ DiCarlo said. “Things that attracted me to the sport were watching the Knicks on TV with my dad and brother. My strengths I feel would be passing and defense. Aspects that I would like to improve on would be taking more shots and getting into the passing lanes more often on defensive.
“A personal goal of mine was to average more assists than turnovers. A goal that I’d like my team to achieve would be making (NJSIAA) States or doubling last year’s win total. Positive influences in my career playing basketball would be my brother from watching him play for years, my dad for breaking down college and NBA games with me and my current coaches."
Mutz began his career as a basketball player at eight years of age.
“My grandpa originally attracted me to the sport since he was a referee," Mutz said. “My strengths as a player are being a team player and a hard worker. I would like to improve on shooting and physicality.
“My personal goals for the season are to contribute any way I can and make everybody better every day. Some goals for my team are to make it to States and upset some teams that don’t respect us. Major positive influences in my career would be my family, coach Ferguson, and my PAL coach Steve Meyer."
Through Feb. 3, the Vikings had seven victories. On Feb. 13, they are scheduled to host North Warren.