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The Daily Times' boys basketball blog

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Everyone at Ridley knows what Friday is.

It's more than the end of the Green Raiders' school week. It's more than their fourth Central League game. It's bragging rights.

Ridley (3-3, 1-2) travels to Haverford (3-2, 1-2) Friday night for a meeting with a familiar face. Former Ridley coach Keith Heinerichs (pictured), a Haverford resident, left the Green Raiders following last season to take the top spot with the Fords.

“I’m thinking this is going to be a big game," said Shawn Church, Ridley's high-scoring power forward. "(Heinerichs) teaches here still. I’ll be in his (U.S. history) class next semester."

Heinerichs coached Church and Dan Staiber, Ridley's only returning starters from last season, for three seasons. In 11 seasons at Ridley, Heinerichs posted a 183-104 record (.638 win percentage), guided the Raiders to four District One Class AAAA playoff berths in his final five seasons and matched the program's deepest run in 2007-08, when they reached the PIAA quarterfinals.

“That should be a little extra element to it," said Mike Snyder, Ridley's first-year coach who was a longtime assistant for Heinerichs. "Keith coached Dan and Shawn for three years. Should be fun. We text. We keep in touch. We try not to share too much. I’m sure he’s feeling how I’d be feeling -- a little odd, you know?"

Heinerichs will have more than Ridley to worry about. After posting 10 winning records in 11 seasons at Ridley, Heinerichs took on the Fords, who had posted four winning seasons in their past 14 years.

"I think it'll be awkward," Heinerichs said of the game. "I don't know what divorce feels like, but I imagine this will be a lot like that. It's like moving on with your life, but you're still around people you care about.

"I see Dan and Shawn and Derrick (Dawson) every day. I wrote Matt Zang a recommendation two weeks ago. This game is going to be a lot of fun."

If Haverford is going to bring home a win for Heinerichs, count on Kevin Gladstone - who scored 19 points Tuesday after missing the first five games of the year due to injury - and Pat Morgan, who's averaging 10 points per game.

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