Thursday, November 30, 2000

Sun setting on Dawn father-son act


NCC coach has final season with senior son

By Mark Schmetzer
Enquirer contributor

        The Newport Central Catholic boys basketball team is on the verge of opening the final season of its ongoing family affair.

        Coach Ron Dawn and senior guard Ronny Dawn are entering their fourth season together.

        “I'll miss it,” Ron said. “I'm sure I'll miss it. There've been some tough times — we have our days — but I am going to miss it.”

        “Some days, at practice, I wish it was over already,” Ronny said. “Once I get to college and a few years down the road, I'm sure I'll look back and wish I still had that. I'm going to try to cherish this last year.”

        If Ronny lives up to the expectations of Northern Kentucky prep basketball fans, he should put together a season to remember. For the second consecutive year, he has been named the area's top player going into the season.

        The 6-foot-2, 174-pound Ronny lived up to last season's expectations by leading NCC to the All “A” Classic state championship and its first Ninth Region title since 1984. NCC lost in the first round of the Sweet Sixteen to Louisville Male 61-41. Along the way, Dawn averaged 21.9 points a game and was fifth in the state with a .408 3-point shooting percentage (116-for-284). He averaged 3.3 3-pointers a game.

        Since then, Ronny has committed to play for Marshall, of the Mid-American Conference, next season.

        “I liked it down there,” said Ronny, who will follow former NCC star John Brannen to Huntington, W.Va.

        Ronny was recruited by Xavier, Tennessee, Eastern Kentucky, Western Ken tucky and Marquette, but his only official visit was to Marshall.

        “I've known the coaches at Marshall for years, and I've been down there to watch John play,” Ronny said. “I'm going in there knowing what to expect.”

        The early decision allowed him to focus on making the most of his senior

        season.

        But his father said Ronny still has some areas to work on.

        “I've been on him about his defense and doing a better job,” Ron said. “We really need to count on him this year. The last couple of years, we've had to worry about him getting into foul trouble, so we haven't put him on the other team's best player. This year, he may have to do that.”

        “I've been working on my defense, not just for this year, but for college,” said Ronny, who's 450 points shy of the NCC career scoring leader, Brannen.

        Ronny is also trying to bulk up to 180 pounds and become a vocal leader.

        “Sometimes, he's got to be more vocal,” Ron said. “That's not his personality, but he'll have to do it. He's got to do it.”

        “It won't be hard,” Ronny said. “I've always had it, but I've just been kind of quiet.”

        Ronny said there were times over the past few years when he wishes his father would have been quieter, such as during drives home after practices or games. Ronny would want to put it behind him; Ron would want to keep rehashing the day.

        “It's just that we're both so competitive,” Ron said. “I was always on him at practice about working harder, and I had a problem with not being able to leave it there. That's what was tough.”

        But Ronny also will have wonderful moments to remember, including many from last season.

        “It was real exciting to see him happy,” Ronny said about his father. “After all of those years of working together, to finally have something to show for it, I thought it was really neat.”
       

Top returning players

       

        • Ronny Dawn, Newport Central Catholic, Sr., 6-2, G

        • Gino Guidugli, Highlands,Sr., 6-5, F

        • Nick Love, St. Henry, Sr., 6-1, F

        • Kevin Reinhardt, Campbell County, Jr., 6-4, F

        • Allen Shafer, Grant County, Sr., 5-9, G

        • Jeremy Stephenson, Conner, Sr., 6-1, G

        • Jordan Stowers, Simon Kenton, Sr., 6-1, G

        • Chris Thompson, Scott, Sr., 6-3, G

        • Chad Wachs, Covington Catholic, Sr., 6-5, C

       



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