Hodgdon boys return large squad from last season

2 years ago

HODGDON, Maine — It is a rare luxury to have almost an entire basketball squad return. But that is precisely the scenario for Hodgdon boys basketball coach Matthew Oliver.   

The Hawks lost just one player to graduation — Isaac Jurson — but coach Oliver is optimistic about his squad’s chances for success in the upcoming season.

Hodgdon finished with a somewhat disappointing 4-8 record a year ago, but more importantly, the team gained valuable experience on the hardwood that should bode well for this season. 

“We’ll be competitive as the majority of our key contributors are juniors and seniors,” said Oliver, who is embarking on his third year with the program.

Leading the way for the Hodgdon boys are seniors Troy Hipsley, Caleb Nash, Isiah Peacock and Damin Harris. 

Hipsley, a speedy 5-foot, 8-inch guard, is coming off a strong football season as he played for the Houlton Shires this past fall as part of the cooperative team. Nash, a 6-2 forward, should be a strong presence in the low post helping the team secure multiple rebounds on a nightly basis. 

Peacock and Harris bring some size to the forward position as the two stand 5-11 and 5-9, respectively.

A stellar cast of juniors will also see plenty of playing time this year. Leading that charge will be the coach’s son, Walker Oliver, a 6-2 guard who will control the majority of the ball handling for the Hawks. Walker Oliver played much of last season with cracked vertebrae in his back, but is fully healthy this season and could be poised for a huge year.

Duttweiler, a 6-3 junior forward who is another key component for the Hawks, will also see plenty of playing time. The talented player has proven to be adept at slashing to the basket in recent years and could be one of the players to watch this season.

Caleb Tuttle (6-0 junior forward) and Cordel Smith (5-9 junior forward) provide depth for the Hawks, which is a luxury the team has not had in recent years.

The sophomore class features Osin Gardiner (5-10 guard), Reiley Wright (5-11 forward) and George Gaddis (5-11 forward). Rounding out the roster are freshmen David Tuttle (5-4 guard) and Brody Little (6-3 forward). Little saw time with the team last year as an eighth-grader.

The Hawk boys have been fortunate in that COVID-19 has not had much of an impact during practice sessions, nor did the masking requirements deter anyone from playing. “It always means a lot to the kids that put in the work to play,” coach Oliver said.

The coach said one of his primary goals for the season was to see his players give the maximum effort possible on every single possession.

Competing in the Class C North region, the Hawks will face several tough matchups on the year including Fort Kent (one of the top teams in Class C North) and Southern Aroostook (a contender in Class D).