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Injection of young talent has Ripon, RC optimistic

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Logan Vos will have to carry the load for Ripon Christian, which lost three starters to graduation including standout 6-foot-8 center Tyler Goslinga. The Knights, however, should be more competitiv...

Bulletin file photo/

POSTED November 29, 2010 3:59 a.m.

In-town rivals Ripon High and Ripon Christian are in different leagues now, but their boys basketball teams find themselves in the same boat having lost top talent.

Yet, there is hope for both programs with younger talent coming up to surround the few varsity veterans.

Ripon Christian will open the 2010-11 season with a gigantic hole to fill.

Gone is Tyler Goslinga, who has taken his 6-foot-8 frame along with his average of 20.4 points and 11 rebounds per game to Fresno Pacific College.

Goslinga was the centerpiece of last year’s team that advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV title game while making a CIF State Northern California Championships appearance. Also gone are all-Trans Valley League selections Daniel Van de Pol and Steve Vander Molen.

“We’ll be a much different team,” said Ron Vander Molen, who has been coach for the Knights for about 10 years. “Right now, we’re looking at having more balance.”

His top returning player is senior Logan Vos, who plays a combination guard / forward position. He’ll be joined by his younger brother Danny Vos, who is a sophomore point guard. The two are hoping to help lead the way as the Knights battle it out for the first time in the Southern League.

“Our (preseason) practices have been very competitive,” said Vander Molen, who has plenty of guards and forwards on his 13-man roster.

He also has experience in the form of senior guard Isaac Norman, senior forward Dylan Van Vliet, and senior guard Brady Rhoda.

At Ripon High, coach Rod Wright is in a similar position.

He graduated one of the top players in the Trans Valley League in Matt Ratto, who is now at Modesto Junior College. Ratto is the school’s No. 2 all-time career scoring leader.

Wright has served as the varsity hoop coach for the past 10 years.

His team is largely inexperienced, with 6-foot-4 junior center Jake McCreath and 6-1, 230-pound senior forward Andy Bunting as the only returning players from a year ago.

However, Wright is excited about the potential of his young squad.

He has an equal mix of seniors, juniors and sophomores on his 15-man roster.

“It’s nice to go to practice and have more than 10 players on the court ready to go,” Wright said. “We haven’t had that much depth here for quite some time.”

He has Cole Herrin, a sophomore, penciled in at point guard, and junior forward Conner Jones fitting in nicely with his role on the team.

Wright indicated that competition has been a good thing for his largely inexperienced squad.

“It’s made for better practices,” he said.

His Indians are looking forward to today’s foundation game in the RHS North Gym against Manteca High.

“This will be like our last tune-up game before the start of the season,” Wright said.

Ripon Christian will also play a foundation game. The Knights will host East Union at 8 o’clock tonight at the RC gym.

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