Look for Evergreen boys basketball to be heavy contenders in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League with three all-league performers returning from a team that finished third a season ago.
“We are excited about the season,” said head coach Jerry Keifer. “We hope to contend for a league title and put ourselves in a position to get a favorable seed in the sectional tournament and make a run.”
The Vikings lose just one letter winner from last season, Josh Dowling (honorable mention All-NWOAL, second team District 7). But, they return seven quality athletes.
Their most notable returnee is Mason Loeffler, who was first team All-NWOAL, second team District 7 and third team All-Northwest District last season. The junior averaged nearly 15 (14.8) points per game in 2017-18.
Other key players back are Nate Brighton (second team All-NWOAL, honorable mention all-district), Bryce Hudik (honorable mention District 7), and Chandler Lumbrezer (honorable mention District 7). Hudik was the Vikings’ second leading scorer at 10.7 ppg, Brighton averaged 8.6 ppg and Lumbrezer 7.3.
They also return Zach Lumbrezer, Jack Etue and Mason Henricks.
“Experience,” said Keifer on the strengths for his team. “We return seven (letter winners) and four starters back from last year. We have worked very hard over the summer to get better and to get stronger.”
Newcomers for the Vikings are Brian Fritch, CJ Houck, Ethan Loeffler, Nic Borojevich and Evan Lumbrezer.
However, to win a league title, there are always areas that need to be perfected. “Our greatest weakness is defensive rebounding, and free throw shooting,” said Keifer.
In his preseason poll, the Viking coach has his team finishing third in the league behind Archbold and Wauseon. Keifer then has Bryan finishing fourth, Swanton fifth, Patrick Henry sixth, Liberty Center seventh and Delta eighth.
Evergreen begins the season Monday, Dec. 3 when they visit Ottawa Hills.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010