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Schnellenberger takes shooting touch to Berea

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By Mike Farner

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - One of the best shooters in the state will be firing up long shots for the next four years at Berea College.
 Last week, Bullitt Central senior Ryan Schnellenberger made it all official when he signed with the Mountaineers, a team that posted a 10-18 mark during the regular season this past winter under head coach John Hemenway.
 For the 6-3 Schnellenberger, Berea was the option that he could just not turn down.
 "They have a beautiful campus," the senior said during a ceremony in the Bullitt Central library last week. "It's a nice community and reminds me of Shepherdsville. It will be good down there. It's a good program and everybody is supportive."
 No other school was able to muscle Berea out of the picture.
 "They were my number one," Schnellenberger said. "I looked at Campbellsville and Transylvania, but Berea was the top school."
 After Bullitt Central head coach Joe Pat Lee sent tapes to Berea, they made contact with Schnellenberger back last fall. They came and saw him play in games against Evangel and North Bullitt.
 "I scored 36 against Evangel," the senior pointed out.
 At Berea, Schnellenberger will not have to make any position changes.
 "The coach has been talking about shooting guard a lot," the senior said. "I won't have to make any position switches. I'll have to adjust to a shot clock and a different three point line."
 The 17-year old son of Peggy and Bruce Schnellenberger plans to major in Physical Education and would like to become a coach one day. He is the youngest of three children as he has an older brother Eric and an older sister, Angela.
 Schnellenberger played his middle school basketball at Bernheim and after his eighth-grade season ended there, he moved over and started playing at Bullitt Central. During his freshman season he became part of the Cougar varsity squad.
 While the high scoring guard finished with 1,064 points during his career at Bullitt Central, he did it despite missing almost half of his sophomore season with mono.
 Schnellenberger played no other sports at Bullitt Central.
 "Basketball has always been number one," the senior said. "It has been that way since I was 4-years old."
 The goal now is to add strength and try to get his weight from 160 up to 175 pounds for the rigors of the college game.
 "They sent me a weight program with the letter of intent," Schnellenberger said. "They want me at 175 and that will be a lot of work."
 While Bullitt Central did win 22 games this season, they failed to get out of district play. Still, there was the satisfaction of winning a holiday tournament at Russell County as a solid memory.
 "Going to Bowling Green and winning that Christmas tournament I remember," the shooter said. "We had that monkey on our back of not winning tournaments. We were focused and we won it."
 Schnellenberger is the first Bullitt Central player to sign to play at the next level in several years, but teammate Caleb Craddock will be doing the same thing soon.
 "It's been a while since we've had that caliber of player," Bullitt Central head coach Joe Pat Lee said. "He'll play shooting guard for them. We talked to the coach and they want him to add some weight and to work on his ball handling. He'll be forced to put it on the floor more in college."