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Yellowjackets’ Scott Sauro honored as WVSSAC High School Boys Basketball Coach of the Year

Photo provided Williamstown head coach Scott Sauro watches on as his Yellowjackets compete in a game. Sauro was named the WVSSAC High School Boys Basketball Coach of the Year.

WILLIAMSTOWN — Though the 2019-20 basketball postseason was cut short, the Class A No. 1 Williamstown Yellowjackets got one more honor before the next season officially begins.

Head coach Scott Sauro was named the 2019-20 coach of the year by the WVSSAC. When Sauro received the recognition on October 1, he said his first thought was about how the team and assistants made this award a possibility. It’s that kind of teamwork that gives him confidence in what will happen to this year’s iteration of the team.

“It was a good feeling, because I viewed it as recognition of the effort those kids and assistant coaches put forward all year,” he said. “That’s what it is. It’s a team award and a staff award, more than anything. It felt good that the WVSSAC recognized the special season that our kids had.

Last year’s Williamstown squad achieved its best finish under Sauro, with a 25-1 record before heading to Charleston for the postseason. That team had plenty of goals, and while the ultimate prize of a Class A crown evaded everyone remaining in the postseason, WHS still set a high bar for itself in the coming months by accomplishing so much.

“We wanted to win a state championship. That was our goal. We accomplished a lot of goals we had set forward for ourselves,” he said. “We wanted to be conference champions, we wanted to be sectional champions, we wanted to be regional champions and then we wanted to be state champions.We had four goals, and we were 3-for-3. We just didn’t get the opportunity for that fourth one. The WVSSAC made the exact decision I would have made when they canceled the tournament. It was frustrating from the standpoint of that you work so hard, but there’s just nothing you can do.”

Now that last season is in the rear-view mirror, Sauro and his staff want to see production out of his upperclassmen similar to what they got from leaders on last year’s squad.

The depth and ability to play ten guys worked in the ‘Jackets’ favor, as it kept opponents on their heels. This year, the expectation is for a good chunk of the roster to get playing time, and the experience of veteran players plays right into what Sauro wants to do.

“Our seniors in particular, were great leaders. They were unselfish, and they sacrificed individual statistics for the good of the team, he said of his senior starters (Peyton Amrine and Colten Luther). “We played ten kids, quite a bit. That’s pretty rare on a Single A basketball team, and because of that, some of those guys that would have been getting on a lot of other teams 28-30 minutes per game, got their minutes cut a bit. It would’ve been easy for some guys to get selfish, and they never were. That’s a testament to those kids and how they approached the team aspect of the game.”

In addition to the returning multi-faceted PG Garret Hill, The Yellowjackets return first-team all-stater Sam Cremeans, and second-teamer Xavier Caruthers. Those returning starters carry their fair share heading into the next season, and Sauro is comfortable with the entire team and where those leaders fit in the grand scheme of it all.

“We feel really good about the team we have returning,” Sauro said. “We have our two leading scorers returning in Sam Cremeans and Xavier Caruthers. Garret Hill is an excellent point guard. He’s a terrific point guard for us. Baylor Haught is a terrific player for us, and we’re excited about him. We have some young guys who have had some good offseasons, so we’re excited about the group we have coming back. We think we may be able to play seven, eight, nine kids. It just depends on how that shakes out, but we like the group we have.”

Contact Josh Hughes at jhughes@newsandsentinel.com

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