Improved 'D' has Reed City's Droke off to solid start

REED CITY — Ricky Droke saw action on the Reed City varsity as a sophomore. But in his junior season, Droke is showing how valuable the second year of experience on his level can be.

Reed City is off to a 3-0 start in the Central State Activities Association and 3-1 overall. Droke has contributed heavily in various games including 12 points in a recent victory over Hesperia.

“Last year was a mixture, this year is whole lot better,” Droke said. “My defense is a whole lot better this year than last year. I’ve been working on my shot.”

Droke, who plays other sports including soccer, said he didn’t engage heavily in basketball work during the off season.

“I did a lot of summer ball with the team,” he said. “I did the Sunday thing. That was with a few of us with the team.”

Droke’s defense has been especially strong for the Coyotes but he says he’s not specializing in any particular role.

“I’m out there for everything,” he said. “Wherever (coach Jess Kailing) tells me to go, and whoever he tells me to guard that’s where I’m at. Right now my shooting is off but the last game it was on.”

The Coyotes are off for the holidays.

“We’re doing very well,” Droke said. “Our last game (against Holton) was iffy in the beginning but we got it back together. I think if we can play stronger, we can go for 16-0 (in the CSAA). It’s a matter of teamwork and we have to play smart.”

The next game for the Coyotes is Jan. 6 at Morley Stanwood in CSAA.

“That will be our toughest one,” Droke said.