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Kinyon headlines talented Chadwick boys and girls freshman class


Chadwick’s Prestin Kinyon is counting down the days until he can dunk and working to make that greatly awaited day happen sooner than later.

“I’ve always wanted to dunk. I want to say I can. I’m close,” he said. “I work on my vertical (jump) by doing calf raises and using ankle weights.”

Kinyon has been on a fast track to success, making himself an immediate impact type as a starting freshman forward this season and helping the Cardinals capture the Class 1 state championship.

He set a pace well ahead of most of his classmates by averaging 6.2 points and 5.0 rebounds a game. 

“He's been doing (well) all year,” coach Shawn Guerin said. ““Freshmen don't matter to us. They've got to play.” 

Kinyon responded to the bright lights of playing in a state championship game by turning in six points, six rebounds, three steals, two assists and one block. He contributed eight points, seven rebounds and three blocks in the Cards' semifinal win against Green City.

“Coach tells me I need to go after rebounds, so I try to get them,” Kinyon said of what became his top strength.

Kinyon and fellow Chadwick freshman Creek Guerin are 14 years old. They won't celebrate their 15th birthdays until May 25 and June 3, thus they may have  more physical maturity to tap into than their older classmates.

Their mental maturity is beyond their years.

“As a freshman, you always get doubted because you're younger,” Kinyon said. “Most people think you're going to be nervous and can't do a lot. I always try to get myself going in warmups. Clayton (Garrison) and Tristan (Smith) help get my confidence up. If I miss a shot, they encourage me to keep shooting.”

The Cardinals will be favored to make a strong push toward repeating as state champs next season, as they will return three starters and four of their top six players.

“Me and Creek are going to be in the gym all summer,” Kinyon said. “I'm going to try to get better at my ball-handling and my shooting.”

It's also worth noting Chadwick’s girls feature a freshman class that figures to play a big part of the Lady Cardinals’ future success. The team’s roster of 15 players this season included nine freshmen.

Twins Emily and Macy Landry moved to Chadwick from Protem last summer, making a large freshman class even bigger.

“I was a little surprised. I didn’t expect that many,” Emily said. “We have good group of girls. We’re going to be solid.”

Emily entered the off-season with momentum on her side, after she tried to rally Chadwick in its Sectional loss to Delta. In the final minutes, she netted five points, jncluding a 3-pointer.

“That was was big confidence boost at the end of the game for me,” she said.