The Thunder Mountain High School boy’s and girl’s basketball teams will have their senior appreciation night on Saturday along with the cheerleaders, dance team and pep band. Following are brief bios compiled by head coaches John Blasco and Tanya Nizich on their senior players.
This 2013 senior class is the first true cycle of four-year players in the Thunder Mountain basketball program. From freshman to seniors, it has been an absolute pleasure coaching these young men. These seniors are leaders to a very special team. The coaching staff thanks them for all their hard work and dedication in helping build the boys basketball program to what it is today.
Sam Jahn (4 years on varsity) - I can’t say enough about the development of Sam as a player. Sam has been on varsity for four years and has improved each season. He has really stepped up his abilities and leadership this year. His off-season work has paid off and is demonstrated in his weekly performance. Sam has taken this team on his back and helped us have the most successful season we have had to date.
Rohan Kishore (1 year on varsity) - Exemplifies all the characteristics that a coach is looking for in a player. He has been a true pleasure to coach over the last four years and has made tremendous strides in basketball. He sets a good example for other players in the program about work ethic and attitude.
Joseph Ia (1 year on varsity) - A tough competitor that provides leadership and strength to our team. He brings a positive attitude and strong work ethic to the gym every day. Joe is good athlete and a quality defender.
Josh Tupou (3 years on varsity) - I feel so lucky having the Tupou twins as my point guards, what coach wouldn’t want guards with their strength and quickness leading their team. They make it very difficult for other teams to pressure us. Josh provides excellent leadership and a great attitude to the team. Josh has accepted the challenge of being our point guard for 32 minutes a night as he never knows when his brother is going to be in foul trouble or not.
Vili Tupou (3 years on varsity) - I feel so lucky having the Tupou twins as my point guards, what coach wouldn’t want guards with their strength and quickness leading their team. They make it very difficult for other teams to pressure us. Vili brings his leadership and competitive nature to the gym every day. Vili has improved his offensive game and even shown off his “Jimmer” range a time or two this season.
Travis Johnson (3 years on varsity) - Travis has been on varsity for three years and he is that guy a coach turns to for the dirty work. He hustles, dives on floor, and scraps hard every minute he plays. Travis is a mentally tough young man who always challenges his teammates to get better.
Avery Stewart (3 years on varsity) - The guy just does not get tired, and can run for hours. Avery has overcome several injuries over the last couple years to continue being a key contributor to our team. Avery does everything that is asked of him on the court and makes the most of his playing time.
Ty Grussendorf (4 years on varsity) - Has worked hard for four years to become his own player. He is a pure shooter and that is what he loves to do. We know we can turn to Ty when we are in need of a clutch three pointer. Ty’s attitude and humor always brings laughter to the team.
Our 3 seniors, Eyerus Tingley, Jonelle Staveland, and Shayla Reeves have been with the Falcons since TMHS opened its doors four years ago and we started the girls basketball program. It was a tough start, but these players stayed devoted and helped the program grow to competiveness. I believe their leadership helped the program attract other players.
Eyerus has been the Falcons varsity starting point guard for 4 years and Jonelle has been the starting forward for 4 years. Eyerus holds the assists record for TMHS (9 assists in a game) and Jonelle holds the most points per game (26 points in a game ) and the most 3-pointers in a game (7 in a game). Eyerus took command of the court for the Falcons as the point guard and will be hard to replace. Jonelle brought a determination and work ethic to the Falcons that were an inspiration to the entire team and coaching staff.
Shayla Reeves joined the team in her freshman year having no basketball experience. She has worked very hard to learn the game and her determination has been amazing to see. She is one of the fastest players on the team and very inspirational. She became a valuable asset and spark on the court.
The senior night appreciation will take place after the girl’s game (6:15 p.m. game start time) against Juneau-Douglas High School on Saturday and before the boys begin warming up for their game against the Crimson Bears (8 p.m. start time). Bios of cheer, dance and pep band will run if available.