The Fayette boys basketball team will look to get above the .500 mark in 2020-21 as they fell just one game short of that a season ago.
The Eagles return four letter winners from that team which finished 11-12 overall and 7-5 in the Buckeye Border Conference.
Back are Tanner Wagner and Elijah Lerma, each second team All-BBC and honorable mention All-District 7 last season; plus Eli Eberly and Phillip Whiteside.
Wagner returns after averaging 9.6 points and 2.1 rebounds per game last season. Lerma averaged 8.1 points and 2.8 rebounds.
They are adding newcomers Kaden Frenn and Skylar Lester as well.
“This group of boys bring a great passion to the game,” said longtime head coach Todd Mitchell. “They are ‘gym rats’ and do a good job of working on their own when no one is watching. Guard play and good team chemistry should be some of our strengths this year.”
Fayette will be looking to fill the shoes left behind by Noah Brinegar, a first team all-league, second team All-District 7 and honorable mention All-Northwest District player from a season ago. Brinegar averaged nearly 10 (9.9) points per game and 3.3 rebounds in 2019-20.
Also having departed are Tanner Lemley (5.1 points per game, 5 rebounds per game), Jaxsen Wentz (3.5 ppg), Caden Colegrove (honorable mention all-league), and Jose Aguilar.
“We don’t have much size so we will have some matchup issues and rebounding could be a weakness if we let it,” Mitchell said of potential weaknesses for his squad.
The league race is up in the air according to Mitchell. “The league will be pretty balanced this year. No one was able to have summer leagues, shoot outs, or team camps this offseason so it might take a few weeks to see who is the team to beat,” he said.
In response to a question on his outlook for the season, Mitchell chose to keep it simple. He will just be thankful of the chance to coach his team — providing the COVID-19 pandemic obliges.
“With the crazy times we are living in I am hopeful for a full happy and healthy season. Winning and losing are secondary to just allowing the kids the opportunity to play this year,” he said.
Fayette is slated to begin the season at home against Stryker on Thursday, Dec. 3.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010