Scooter Tolzda's unexpected departure as Beallsville's long-time hoop coach sent shockwaves throughout the small Monroe County community. A new era has arrived.
Enter Casey Tolzda, son of Scooter and determined to carry on Big Blue's historic tradition. The 26-year-old Casey was recently approved by the Board of Education and has taken over the Blue Devils' program.
"Sure, it's a challenge, but one I'm very much looking forward to," he acknowledged. "I grew up around the program and am already acquainted with our returning players."
Of which there are few veterans. "We lost eight quality seniors who were part of a special season," Tolzda related. "Right now, our numbers are down somewhat but we'll work hard to put a good group on the floor."
Playing under his father at Beallsville, Casey scored over 900 career points as a four-year performer. Big Blue won an OVAC championship during Casey's sophomore season.
Tolzda then went on to Muskingum College, graduating in 2009."I was fortunate to land a job (at Beallsville) coming out of college," said Tolzda. "The community (here) is a big part of my life."
Beallsville's athletic director, Delmas Moore, stresses the Blue Devils' basketball program remains in good hands.
"I don't know of a more well-respected young man in our community," Moore advised. "I have total confidence in Casey's abilities. He's a quality person in every respect."
Casey assumes head coaching duties following a 17-season tenure of his father. "I was surprised as anyone when Dad accepted the Monroe Central position but I'm looking at (the new) situation as a fresh start for the program," Casey remarked.
Might the Blue Devils and Seminoles square off along the way. "We're scheduled to host (Monroe) in a preview this season so we'll see if that happens," Casey noted.
Big Blue's 2012-13 hoop season features the return of savvy swingman Teryn Jarrett. "There's going to be a little pressure on Teryn, especially from a scoring standpoint until some of our younger kids start coming of age," Tolzda related.
"I would consider (the upcoming season) an uphill battle - especially early on," he added. "We've worked hard this summer in open gyms and various shootouts. The kids seem anxious to learn and that's a good sign. Still, we'll be a work-in-progress."
Tolzda is also excited regarding a new school and basketball facility. "It's a bigger floor which should help us in the long run," he stated. "Hopefully, playing an on a bigger floor will also help us on the road.'
Casey, who also boys' track coach and an assistant in football, said Moore will serve as assistant and coach the junior varsity.
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