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Kauffman was ready for leading role

Tyler Kauffman has realized that it was his time on the big stage.

Kauffman is one of three seniors on the Northampton roster this season, and brings back some experience from a team that was 21-8 last season and advanced to the state semifinals.

Having lost all five starters from that team, Kauffman understood the task at hand, and he took the appropriate measures.

“Last year was such a great time,” he recalled. “We were able to play a high level of basketball for a long time. There were so many memories from the bus rides to the games.

“But we lost a lot of people from that team, and we all knew it would be a different year. I knew I had to step up as a leader and a new role on this team.”

So far, Kauffman’s assignment has been a successful one. He is the team’s leading scorer, averaging 11 points per game. However, it isn’t in a literal sense as the Konkrete Kids have started the season with a 3-6 mark.

“This isn’t the type of start that we thought would happen,” said Kauffman. “We have a number of young guys, and we’re trying to see what will work best for us. We have used some of things we had on offense last year, but we also have to change some things.

“Our matchup has been working, but it has taken the new guys some time to adjust to it.”

Head coach Matt Scholl has admired Kauffman’s approach.

“Tyler has taken on a leadership role since the end of last year,” said Scholl. “He is currently our leading scorer. He doesn’t say much, but the rest of the team listens when he does speak up.

“Tyler is an excellent student and a member of my AP Psychology class.”

In lieu of the circumstances, Kauffman spent some more time to improve his game.

“I definitely have been working on my shot,” he said. “I spent a lot of time in the gym. During the summer, we worked on our offense to see what would work, and to see where we would get our shots from. I happened to be the leading scorer. I felt more comfortable shooting the ball and gained more confidence.”

Kaufmann began his basketball career in kindergarten, and he proceeded to be a three-sport athlete in basketball, baseball and soccer.

However, he soon narrowed his choices.

“My mom told me to just play two sports,” he said. “I chose basketball and baseball. In middle school, I finally decided just to focus on basketball.”

He credited Mark Lesko, the father of former teammate Lucas Lesko, for his development along the way.

Kauffman also believed his past experiences in the program have helped.

“I always looked up to the players from last year’s team,” noted Kauffman. “They were a special group that played well together, and they taught all of us something. It seemed like everything they did worked well for everyone.

“I don’t see too much of a difference playing for coach Scholl than coach Stamp (former head coach Coy Stampone). Coach Scholl has worked in some new things.”

Kauffman, who is a member of the school’s student council and National Honor Society, plans to attend Lebanon Valley College next fall. He believes he has found his niche.

“I wanted to work in sports, and I want to study physical therapy,” he stated. “I served as a volunteer in the physical therapy program at St. Luke’s this summer, and I really enjoyed it.

“I believe it will be a good fit for me.”

In the meantime, Kauffman will be a good fit for the Konkrete Kids.

Press photo by Linda Rothrock Tyler Kauffman is one of three seniors on the boys basketball team and is helping to lead the way this season.