Troxell hopes to help lead Catasauqua to playoffs
Derek Troxell knew it was his time.
The Catasauqua junior was one of two returning starters to the team this winter, and Troxell saw himself in a leadership role for the team.
So far, the tri-captain with experience since his freshman year has played his part.
“Derek has done a nice job for us and he has been a leader out there,” said Rough Riders’ head basketball coach Eric Snyder. “He has been our leading scorer and has taken control of the offense. He is the guy who will take the big shot.
“But Derek does all the little things and is a student of the game.”
Troxell roughly has averaged about 15 points a game for the Roughies, and he realizes how the team has continued to grow and battle toward a district play spot.
The Roughies began the week with an overall 7-8 mark (6-5 Colonial League, 3-3 West Division).
“We have had our ups and downs,” said Troxell. “We have lost games by as many as 30 (points) and we have won some tight ones. We haven’t been as consistent as we have needed to be.
“But we know we are a quality team, and we believe we will be in districts.”
Troxell recently saw his team stunned when starting junior center Derek George left the team.
“That was tough,” he said. “It was before our game with Moravian and I told the guys no matter what happens, we have to stay together.
“We knew we couldn’t afford a letdown and we all bounced back. We all have played together for a while, and we know each other well.”
During the summer, Troxell took the initiative and decided to work on strength training through the help of assistant coach James Snyder.
“I really felt I had to get stronger,” he said. “James Snyder was a big help, and I quickly noticed the difference on the court. I felt a lot stringer going to the basket and battling for rebounds. It has helped my game.”
Snyder also sees a change in the team’s confidence and approach since the summer leagues.
“We played a lot of summer games in two adult leagues,” he said. “It helped us out a lot playing against men. We played against some of the bigger teams like Easton, Reading, and Stroudsburg, and we beat Stroudsburg in overtime.”
Being a leader always hasn’t been easy.
“Yea, I do feel a little bit of pressure being here (varsity) the longest,” said Troxell. “I just try and treat every single person well. I know what I have to do to try and help the team, and I do the very best I can.”
Troxell plans to pursue a degree in elementary education and isn’t sure if basketball will be in his future.
He is positive that basketball will play a big part presently.
“I believe we can come around and put it all together,” said Troxell about his team down the stretch. “We’re starting three guys who played JV last year. A lot of guys are getting significant varsity minutes for the first time.
“We just have to stay focused and keep working. We just have to stay together.”
Troxell surely will do his part to make it happen.