Simon seeks more success at Rossford (07-18-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor   
Thursday, 18 July 2013 09:58
Eric Simon, the new coach for Rossford girls basketball, directs during basketball practice July 11, 2013. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
ROSSFORD - Eric Simon isn't planing any major changes in his first season as Rossford's girls basketball coach.
The Bulldogs already have one of the better programs in the Northern Buckeye Conference.
Simon replaced Kevin Mitchell, who isn't returning after four seasons. Rossford was 10-4 in the NBC in each of the last two seasons.
"We're not reinventing the wheel because the girls have had success here," said Simon, who has coached at Springfield the last 10 seasons.
Simon was Springfield's junior varsity coach the last four seasons. He also was the varsity assistant coach and the freshmen coach.
"Kevin did a nice job," Simon said. "This is a great situation and I just want to add what Kevin did. We have a lot of talent back."
Rossford is 27-19 overall the last two seasons, tying for second place in the NBC last season and finishing second the previous season.
"We don't have to change the culture or anything," Simon said. "We just have to keep everything going. Like everyone else, our goals are to compete for league titles and make a run in the tournament ... and to compete and get better every day."
The Bulldogs should return six seniors and two juniors from last season when they were 14-10 overall.
The returnees include 5-foot-9 senior Julie Hotz, who averaged 12.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game; and 5-8 senior Courtney Morris, who averaged 13.0 ppg.
"The attitudes have been great," Simon said. "Everything is new to them and there's an adjustment period. They're very coachable. The summer is a learning curve to see where we're at offensively and defensively. In August, the coaching staff will get together to decide what we want to offensively and defensively."
The Bulldogs could be on the small side next season as none of the returning players are taller than 5-9, although last season's junior varsity team had two 5-11 players.
"We're going to have to score a lot because of our lack of size," Simon said. "I want to play fast and push the ball up the floor, and get shots before the defense is set. If it's not there, we'll run our half-court stuff. We're going to use our athleticism offensively and defensively because we're very athletic and very fast."
One of the major emphasis of the team's summer workouts has been shooting.
"The biggest thing we're trying to instill in the girls this summer is we need more shots," Simon said. "I hate turnovers. You only make shots when you take them and you're confident when taking them.  If you shoot, even if you miss, you can still get the rebound or get fouled and get to the (free-throw line). If you don't shoot, there's no chance of getting a rebound or going to the line."
Simon said the turnout for those workouts has been good.
"We've had a lot of interest," Simon said. "We're a smaller school and girls are playing (all sports), that's the only way you have teams. They do a good job of making what they can and doing the other sports. The other coaches have been great. We all have to work together."
Simon originally applied to be Rossford's coach when Mitchell was hired.
But Mitchell was a Rossford resident and his daughter was in the program. Mitchell also had been a successful coach at Sylvania Southview.
The 45-year-old Simon is a salesman and deliveryman for Creative Refreshments in Toledo.
"I've always liked the school and the community, and I always liked coming here," said Simon, whose Springfield teams played Rossford when they were members of the Northern Lakes League. "Rossford has good kids and good parents.
"This was a place I thought I could come in and do some good and make a difference. When (Mitchell) was hired, I understood the situation. But I was excited to get another opportunity. Now it's a dream come true."
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 July 2013 11:29

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