The Ruskin Eagles remain optimistic about being the Southern Conference Champions for the fourth time in a row

February 11, 2023

By Jeanne Tucker
Hickman Mills C-1 School District

The Ruskin High School boys basketball team are striving to reach higher heights. They have had a great season so far this year. These young athletes have outscored and outperformed several strong high school teams.

Ruskin participated in the Lee’s Summit Summit Grill Shootout Championship Tournament. They beat some of the best teams around. A major contender was the Rock Ridge Bruins from Columbia Missouri. Rock Ridge is a larger school, Class 6. Ruskin is a MHSAA Class 5 School.

The Golden Eagles advanced to the final championship game.

So far, this 2023-2024 basketball team has beaten Raytown High School two times this season. Then a major victory for Ruskin was when they beat Center High School. Center is ranked # 8 in the big conference for this area.

Here are shout outs to some of the leaders of the Ruskin High School Eagles basketball team.

They are as follows:

George Pledger, a senior, is the captain and the anchor of the team. He does the little things to win.

Devonte Watson, a senior, has been stepping up to the plate. They had a couple of their key starters injured earlier in the season. Devontae played hard and filled that gap. He is a point guard.

Pierre Smith, a junior, is the Eagles’ leading basketball scorer. He plays with heart.

JaQuan Smith, worked extremely hard to improve his grades so that he would be eligible to play.

“Our goals for the Ruskin boys basketball team are to repeat the same performance and continue to be the conference champions. District title is on the radar. The ultimate goal is to win the Missouri State Basketball Championship,” said Coach Whitney.

Our main goal is to teach these young men structure and discipline on and off the floor.

The Eagles have been victorious in winning the conference championship title three years in a row. Coach Whitney and Deron Hill, the Eagles’ assistant coach plan to make this season to be four in a row.

Go Eagles !! Do What You Do Best…Soar!!!
This road for the conference title started on Tuesday, Feb. 1. It was a home game. The visitors were the Kearney High School varsity basketball team.

Head Coach Marcus Whitney said, “We have a great coaching staff.”

The assistant coach of the varsity boys basketball team is Deron Hill. He is a great mentor and leader. Coach Hill spends countless hours before and after school with these young athletes. He is always training them.

The varsity team consists of seniors and juniors only. Ruskin has enough aspiring student-athletes, that they are sponsoring varsity, junior varsity, sophomore and freshman teams.

The Golden Eagles junior varsity boys basketball team has won all of their games, but two.

Coach Martez Harrison is leading up the boys JV team. He spends time with the student-athletes after school almost every day. They are working hard and teaching the boys discipline.

Coach Johnathan Whitelaw is the sophomore leader. He is doing a great job working hard and teaching the students discipline.

The freshmen coaches are Nicholas Dean and Damont Holloway. They are both doing a great job of mentoring, teaching and pushing the freshmen to be better.

The leaders of the Ruskin junior varsity team are Monteanu Fue, Seth Brown and Giovanni Jones. They have great sportsmanship and they work very hard. This team also made it to the finals of the Lee’s Summit Tournament.

Athletic Director, Michael Weiler commented, “We are very pleased with the performance of our Ruskin Basketball teams, so far. Despite some obstacles, they have excelled. We are looking forward to their continued success.”

Principal Dr. Ernest Fields is proud of these student-athletes.