With two of their best players returning – including one that was all-state – Evergreen has the potential to win its first Northwest Ohio Athletic League boys basketball title since 2009.
The Vikings come into this season following a 20-5 year in 2018-19.
“We believe we can build on the season we had last year and continue to work hard and compete for a league title,” said longtime head coach Jerry Keifer.
They are led by the return of Mason Loeffler who was second team All-NWOAL, first team All-District 7, second team All-Northwest District and honorable mention All-Ohio. He averaged 15.1 points per game during his junior season.
Also back is Nate Brighton (10.2 points per game, 9.7 rebounds), who was first team All-NWOAL and honorable mention All-Northwest District and District 7.
Newcomers to the squad include sophomores Ethan Loeffler and Evan Lumbrezer, plus juniors Austin Lumbrezer and Dylan Hickerson.
“We have really good size with 5 seniors returning,” said Keifer. “Experience should be a strength. We have two 4-year starters returning.”
However, they will be without Chandler Lumbrezer (9.8 ppg), Bryce Hudik (9.7 ppg), Nic Borojevich (6.2 ppg) and Zack Lumbrezer (2.9 ppg).
Chandler Lumbrezer was second team all-league and honorable mention District 7, Hudik honorable mention all-league and second team District 7, and Borojevich honorable mention both in the league and District 7.
“We lost our 2 primary ball handlers from last year, and will have two new point guards getting their first varsity action,” said Keifer on potential weaknesses for the season.
The Vikings were 5-2 in league play a season ago, good enough for third in the NWOAL behind Archbold (7-0) and Wauseon (6-1). They will look to surpass the Blue Streaks and Indians, along with the other teams, in 2019-20.
“Should be very interesting year in the NWOAL. I see 4 or 5 teams with a legit shot at a league title,” said Keifer.
Evergreen opens the season next Monday, Dec. 2 when they welcome Ottawa Hills.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010