MINERAL RIDGE, Ohio (WKBN) – In March, Mineral Ridge hired former assistant Eric Harper to take over the reigns as the basketball program’s head coach. Coach Harper served as the interim coach a year ago when the Rams notched their 47-46 win over McDonald in January.

The Rams opened the 2021-22 season by dropping eleven of their first twelve games. The team rebounded nicely by almost playing .500-ball down the stretch to close out the year with a 5-6 mark. Mineral Ridge fell in the opening round of the tournament to eventual-regional finalist Cardinal Mooney (66-22).

Coach Harper returns four starters that includes Nate Rohrman (4 ppg, 3 rpg), Elias Clarke (5 ppg), Trey Rigley (6 ppg) and Ian Erb (6 ppg). Ridge also will have Jordan Moore, Jon Rozzi and Warren JFK-transfer Hayden Wait, who lettered three-years.

“The guys really bought in throughout the off-season,” says Harper. “They grew together which was great to see as we started to implement our new culture. Our expectations are to compete for a league title.” Harper adds, “The leadership on this year’s team is going to be a group effort. They’re extremely connected on-and-off the court. The camaraderie is special to witness and be a part of.”

Mineral Ridge opens the season against Columbiana on Black Friday (November 25).

Mineral Ridge Rams
Fast Facts
Head Coach: Eric Harper
2021-22 Record: 5-9 (6-17), T-6th in MVAC Scarlet Tier
2021-22 Post-Season Finish: Lost in Sectional Semifinal to Cardinal Mooney (66-22)
Last 5 years: 46-71 (39.3%)

2021-22 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 51.8
Scoring Defense: 63.5

2021-22 Individual Leaders
Scoring: Payton Zupko, 14
Rebounding: Zach James, 7
Assists: Payton Zupko, 4

2022-23 Schedule
Nov. 25 – Columbiana
Nov. 29 – Newton Falls
Dec. 2 – at LaBrae
Dec. 9 – Brookfield
Dec. 13 – McDonald
Dec. 16 – at Springfield
Dec. 20 – at Western Reserve
Dec. 27 – at Niles
Jan. 3 – at Sebring
Jan. 6 – Waterloo
Jan. 10 – Lowellville
Jan. 13 – at Jackson-Milton
Jan. 17 – Cardinal Mooney
Jan. 24 – Springfield
Jan. 27 – Western Reserve
Feb. 3 – at Waterloo
Feb. 7 – at Lowellville
Feb. 10 – Jackson-Milton
Feb. 14 – United
Feb. 17 – Maplewood