Feeding frenzy

Amanda Fulmer

After 8th straight 20-win season, Warzynski, seniors search for leadership over dinner

Kevin Warzynski, senior forward, guards his teammate in a practice yesterday. The Flashes’ first game is Nov. 21 in the M.A.C. Center against Delaware State.

Credit: Jason Hall

Two cups of water: free

Two boxes of spaghetti noodles: $0.99

A jar of spaghetti sauce: $2

Getting to know your teammates so your team can play at its best: Priceless.

Senior forward Kevin Warzynski knows for the Kent State basketball team to be successful this year they’re going to have to play as a team. Warzysnki is one of four seniors and one of three returning starters on the Flashes, who begin play Nov. 21 in the M.A.C. Center against Delaware State.

After being chosen to place third in the Mid-American Conference last Thursday, and with Ohio returning four starters from its MAC Tournament Champion team from a year ago, as well as being picked to win the conference, Warzynski and company have their work cut out for them.

To prepare for the role of being a senior leader, Warzynski said he and roommate Nate Gerwig, a fellow senior captain, wanted to make sure everyone felt like part of the team and get to know them better. So, instead of making everyone hit the gym extra hard or go running for extra conditioning, Warzynski, who is apparently an excellent cook, went to work in the kitchen and prepared a homemade spaghetti dinner.

“The spaghetti dinner was good, we had the whole team over and the coaches,” Gerwig said. “(Warzynski) did all the cooking, I just watched. I’m kinda lazy in the kitchen.”

The 2005-2006 season will be Warzynski’s second at Kent State after he was forced to sit out a season after transferring from Charleston Southern University his sophomore year. He meshed well with Kent State’s playing style and team right away, however.

“He is a great teammate,” Gerwig said. “He just tries to play hard all the time, and that’s all you really need.”

After averaging 11.5 points per game and leading the team in rebounds with nearly five a game last year, Warzynski, recently named to the preseason All-MAC first team, returns this year as a main contributor in the Flashes’ chances to win back the MAC title.

“He definitely deserves it (being on the preseason All-MAC team),” said Gerwig of Warzynski, a 6-foot 8 forward. “He had a great season last year.”

Gerwig and Warzynski have a lot in common being both physically big and having a powerful presence in the paint, as well as both being very competitive and hard-working. But apparently they have a few things in common off the court as well.

“He probably won’t admit it but his room is a little dirty,” said Gerwig, a 6-foot 9 center. “I’m probably worse than him though. My room is terrible.”

While he may not be able to clean up his room all that well, he cleans up on the court just fine. Warzynski was second on the team in scoring and led in rebounding. He also shot .504 from the field.

“We are happy for Kevin. It’s a great opportunity for him,” coach Jim Christian said.

Christian is looking for Warzynski to be a strong leader for this year’s team on and off the court, but he won’t have to do it alone.

“We have a huge advantage in the fact that we have four seniors, so we don’t have to have one guy be a leader,” Christian said.

“(The four seniors) have to collectively be a senior group that leads our basketball team, and if they do that then I think we have a chance to accomplish some things.”

Warzynski is representing the Flashes alone this year on the All-MAC preseason team but isn’t intimidated by any extra attention.

“It doesn’t affect me as far as pressure,” Warzynksi said. “If it comes with the pressure, it comes with it. I’d rather it be on me than the other guys.”

Contact sports correspondent Amanda Fulmer at [email protected].  Sports editor Joey Simon contributed to this article.