NEW PHILADELPHIA -- Under the head coaching of Doug McConnell, the TC Rockets are ready to take on the 2015-2016 Special Olympics basketball season!

Practices started Nov. 2. The season opener is set to take place on Dec. 2 against Jefferson County.

Looking to lead the Rockets this season will be veterans Travis Glasgow, Deric Johnson, and Carter McConnell. While Glasgow shares that he is "a little nervous" for the first game of the season, overall feelings of excitement and determination have been present throughout team practices. Rounding out the Rockets this season are Conner DiGenova, Erickson Farnsworth, Michael Ferrebee, Craig Gordon, Jenny Hostetler, Shane Johnson, Chandler McConnell, Miranda Milburn, Rachel Russell, Logan Wise, and Kershel Zehnder. Members of the TC Skills Team include Kaylee Arthurs, Max Burnham, Lon DiGenova, Chelsea Lefler, Elizabeth Lippencott, Austin McGinnis, Adam Wayt, and Shane York. Joining McConnell as assistant coaches are Robert Easlick, Heather Ferrebee, Caleb McConnell, Ashley Metzcar, and Sharlyn Miller. Practices and scrimmages throughout the season will be held at Starlight School, Strasburg-Franklin Schools, Dover Memorial Hall, and Newcomerstown Schools..

The Rockets are set to play seven home games and seven away games this season with teams throughout the Area 9 vicinity, including Belmont County, Coshocton County, and Carroll Hills. Area schools and campuses have generously provided the venues for these home games. These (along with the respective dates and start times) are as follows:

Dover High School (Dec. 2 at 6 p.m.)

Strasburg-Franklin Schools (Dec. 21 at 6:30 p.m., Jan. 4 at 6 p.m., and Feb. 8 at 6 p.m.)

Kent State - Tuscarawas Campus (Jan. 6 at 6 p.m.)

Tuscarawas Central Catholic (Jan. 25 at 6 p.m.)

Garaway Local Schools (Jan. 27 at 6 p.m.)

Members of the community are encouraged to come and support the teams. Admission to all home games is free, and a concession stand will be available at all (or most) games. A Pep Club under the direction of Andrea Tyson and Kelly Burcher will also be looking to pump up the spectators throughout the season. Fans are asked to honor the Spectator Guidelines (http://www.mahoningcountyspecialolympics.org/spectator%20 guidelines.pdf) at each and every game. Questions can be directed to Richelle Lefler (local coordinator) at: tuscarawascountyspecialolympic@gmail.com.