FAIRMONT – This afternoon’s trip to South Euclid will serve as a bit of a homecoming for Fairmont State men’s basketball coach Tim Koenig — one he hopes ends on a better note for him than those at his former home.
Fairmont State men’s basketball will make the trip to Notre Dame (Ohio) today for a Mountain East Conference match-up. For Koenig, it marks his first game against his former program. Koenig led Notre Dame for a half-decade, bringing the program its first-ever 20-win regular season last year, which earned him MEC Coach of the Year honors.
While Koenig looks forward to returning to his stomping grounds and seeing some familiar faces, he knows once the whistle blows for the opening tip-off, it has to be treated like any other game.
“It’s always nice to see people you’ve had great relationships with, but once you get into the game, you don’t get any extra wins regardless of who you play,” he said.
Notre Dame enters the game in last place in the MEC, with just three wins — only one of those in conference play — to their name this season. However, Koenig knows that his former program is just one year removed from their most successful season ever, and understands better than anyone what they’re able to do if Fairmont State isn’t properly prepared.
“Offensively, Notre Dame really spreads you out and that’s going to be a challenge. We need to be sound with our principles and be disruptive — we want to take them out of their organized movements. If you’re not one pass removed, we really have to make sure we’re in our help position. If we’re a step slow or a step out of position, they’re going to make us pay,” he said.
They change their defense up quite a bit — they do a little bit of everything. We have to be able to identify what they’re doing and be able to attack open areas. I never played football but I hear [Fairmont State head football coach] Jason Woodman talk about quarterbacks having to identify defenses and reading them. We talked about the same thing here but a different sport. It comes down to execution. How hard are we going to play and how well do we execute,” he said.
Fairmont State enters today locked in a four-way tie with Glenville State, Charleston, and West Liberty atop the conference standings — with a match-up between Glenville and West Liberty on the horizon today, the Falcons have the chance to secure a spot amongst the top-three in the league with a win.
Fairmont State women’s basketball looks to rebound from loss
For Fairmont State women’s basketball coach Stephanie Anderson, Wednesday night’s loss to MEC foe Urbana felt like a step backwards. Now, the Falcons are presented with an opportunity to take a huge step in the right direction.
They will look to redeem their loss as they travel to Notre Dame, which currently sits tied atop the MEC standings with Charleston and Concord. With Fairmont State sitting just two games out of the lead, a win would go a long way in reestablishing momentum after a tough loss this week and keeping the Falcons in contention for a regular-season conference title.
“I think the biggest thing is that we got away from who we are last game. Our biggest thing this year have been playing as hard as we can I felt like we didn’t have that against Urbana,” Anderson said
“I think we’re ready to respond. They just need to work as hard as the possibly can this next game and see what happens.”