Boys Basketball Plans to Honor Their Lone Senior


Media by Jeff Swift

Josh Merz, Senior, runs back after assisting a score against Troy Buchanon. Merz is the only senior boy currently on the team.

Every year, the varsity basketball team honors the senior players with a senior night, giving speeches and recognizing the athletes. At this year’s senior night, held Feb. 27, there will only be one senior basketball player honored by the players. 

After playing basketball for 13 years, Josh Merz, senior,  will be the lone graduate from the boys basketball program. 

Eric Schweain, head basketball coach, said Merz is a role model and a leader for the underclassmen. 

“A big part of who we are as a team is because Josh is that leader we have to have this year,” Schweain said.

Merz constantly communicates on and off the court, directing traffic, helping and encouraging players, Schweain said. 

As the only senior on the team, coaches and players are considering calling basketball’s senior night “Josh Merz Night.” The coaches and players will honor Merz with speeches and acknowledgements of his achievements. 

“I would take a Josh Merz on the team any year, any season, for as long as I coach,” Schweain said. 

Brendan Harter, junior, considers Merz a role model and leader on the team. Harter said Merz has the most experience and is the most vocal. 

“He has stepped up and been the team leader and taught us how to communicate with each other on and off the court,” Harter said. 

Merz drives underclassmen to games, provides support and serves as a role model on and off the court.

Merz attributed his strong communication skills to the coaches. 

“Our coach says quiet teams get beat and loud teams will always have a chance no matter who we’re playing against,” Merz said. 

The team has faced some challenges with having only one senior, Merz said. 

“It was a little awkward in the beginning, but we really came together as a team throughout the season,” Merz said. 

Merz said that because he was one of the only current players to “get quality time on the court” last year, he is one of the only ones with experience competing at the varsity level. As the only senior, he has to lead and teach the team, Merz said. 

“[The season] wasn’t what I was expecting,” Merz said. “But I always like to have fun, and that’s what I’m doing.”

Schweain also said that senior leadership is extremely important to help with the team dynamic. With a single senior in the program, there are not several sources of this senior leadership. 

“However, Josh has done such an amazing job of leading this young group,” Schweain said.  

Merz will play his final game for MHS, ending the season without any other seniors by his side. Merz said he hopes to have a lasting effect on his team. 

“I want them to work hard through adversity because there will be highs, but you have to get through the lows and you learn from them and move on,” Merz said.