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Morristown bench provides boost of encouragement

The Morristown Bench Mob has provided plenty of enthuasiam and encouragement for the Yellow Jackets this season. Their energy will be important in the Martinsville Regional Saturday.

By KRIS MILLS - kmills@shelbynews.com

MORRISTOWN -- Daniel Brenneman and Drake Moore were basically acquaintances at the beginning of the season. Coming from the eighth grade, Moore knew of Brenneman and likewise.

A senior and freshman don’t usually spend much time together, even in a small-school setting. But that is the beauty of high school sports. Now Brenneman and Moore are friends and teammates. And have a bond that cannot be broken.

Brenneman, a six-foot-4 senior, and Moore, a small, sharpshooting freshman, are just two pieces to the Morristown Bench Mob. Nine players in total have helped encourage No. 4 Morristown in a historic season. Chance Collingwood, Kameron Crim, Mattias Livezey, Garrett Jones, Jordan Battles, Kyle Crim and Sawyer Jones, along with Brenneman and Moore, have been another set of eyes for the Yellow Jackets.

Their encouragement, unselfishness and determination to improve has not gone unnoticed.

“They bring a lot of energy for us,” senior guard Eli Streeval said. “They are in there everyday in practice pushing us to another level. They excite us during the game. When we do something good they let us know and when they do something bad they let us know. They are almost our third or fourth coach.”

Collingwood, a senior, is the Bench Mob Caption, according to the team, with Kameron Crim being the smartest (4.0 GPA). Each has their own personality. Like Sawyer, a freshman, for instance, who has developed a reputation for randomly announcing, like a PA announcer, players names when they walk through the hallway.

“Every single one of them are good teammates,” Collingwood said. “We keep the energy up during games.”

Moore has been a thorn in the side of the varsity team. At the end of practice, the team cannot leave the floor until it gets a defensive stop. More than once, Moore has kept the Yellow Jackets around for an extra few minutes.

“(Moore) will hit like five or six in a row,” Livezey, a sophomore, said. “It makes all the coaches mad.”

Ky. Crim, a freshman guard, and Brenneman are the first two off the bench for Morristown and played key minutes in the sectional final run at Southwestern last weekend. Brenneman is grabbing 2.2 rebounds per game and shooting 58 percent from the field, while Ky. Crim is averaging 4.1 points and 1.4 assists.

“Chance and the team keeps me calm on the bench,” Crim said. “Chance tells me to go in there and go play and do my thing.”

Their energy, as with the entire bench, will be important Saturday in a tough Martinsville Regional. Regardless of the outcome, however, their memories together will last forever.

“Honestly, being on a team with all these guys, we have come together this season,” Brenneman said. “I just knew some of their names (at first). All of them are encouraging. We have been joking around with each other, and it’s just been a fun experience.”

Kris Mills is the Sports editor of The Shelbyville News. Follow Kris on Twitter @KrisMills 37.