The Wauseon boys basketball team should be poised for another successful season with four letter winners returning, including three of which that were all-league and all-district performers a season ago.
“We have a group of kids that are eager to compete and build off of last year’s successful season,” said head coach Chad Burt. “They are a very coachable group and will continue to grow and develop as the season progresses.”
The Indians were 20-4 overall in 2016 and 7-1 in the NWOAL, where they were co-champions with rival Archbold. They fell in the Division II district semifinal to Rogers, 45-40.
Returning for the Indians are Carter Bzovi (first team All-NWOAL, second team District 7), Brooks Gype (honorable mention All-NWOAL, honorable mention District 7), and Brendan Britsch.
But perhaps their biggest returnee is 6’9” center Austin Rotroff, who averaged close to a double-double at 13 points and nine rebounds per game last season. Rotroff was first team all-league, first team District 7, second team all-district and honorable mention All-Ohio in 2016.
Newcomers to the varsity squad are Logan Hines, Dawson Rupp, Everett Bueter, Owen Newlove, Dalton Rice, CJ Moser, Levi Seiler, and Trent Armstrong.
“We have a group that is very hard working,” said Burt. “They are eager to learn and have been really competing hard in practice. We should have a good combination of inside/outside scoring.”
The Indians will be looking to replace departed letter winners Luke Rychener (honorable mention all-league, District 7), Mason Creager, Derek Anderson, Austin Bachman, Chase Brock, Will Dorsey and Jacob Flory.
“We suffered significant losses due to graduation,” said Burt. “We will need to replace a large seven member senior class that provided tremendous leadership. Team ball handling will be a point of emphasis and a major concern. We will need to continue to develop our perimeter skills to be successful offensively. Our perimeter shooting will need to get better as the season progresses.”
Burt expects his team to be in the running for a league title, but knows that getting past Archbold will be a tough hill to climb.
“Overall, the league will be very balanced and competitive,” he said. “Archbold appears to be the team to beat. Archbold has tremendous guard play and many returning athletes. With the great coaches in the league, this should be a fun year in the league. Teams will have to be ready night in and night out in the league to make a run at the title.”
Wauseon begins the season with a non-league game against the Blue Streaks Saturday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010