The Wauseon boys basketball program has a long-standing tradition of producing teams that win, and they look for that to continue in 2022-23.
“We have many new faces in new roles,” said veteran head coach Chad Burt. “We have won 17 or more games for 8 of the last 9 years (14 last year) and have a group of kids that are eager to compete and establish themselves at the varsity level. We are inexperienced in some key positions, but they are a coachable group and will continue to grow and develop as the season progresses.”
Back to lead the Indians this season are Tyson Rodriguez (honorable mention All-NWOAL) and Landon Hines (honorable mention District 7). Hines averaged 8.3 points per game on the season while Rodriguez notched 6.4 points per game.
Other returnees include Jude Armstrong (3.3 ppg), JT Gleckler (2 ppg), and Jack Leatherman. They will be adding newcomers Ethan Borton, Elijah McLeod, Trey Parsons, Logan Patterson, Braden Vajen and Connor Keefer.
“We have a group that is hard working and eager to learn. They are excited to follow up on the success from previous years and have been competing hard in practice,” explained Burt on the strengths of this year’s team.
Gone from last year are Jonas Tester (first team All-NWOAL/District 7, second team All-Northwest District), Carson Burt (honorable mention All-NWOAL/District 7), Matt Shaw (honorable mention All-NWOAL) and Krue Powers.
“We graduated a group of four seniors that made tremendous contributions both on and off the court. They will be difficult to replace,” stated the Wauseon coach. “Team ball handling will be a point of emphasis and a major concern. We will need to develop our perimeter skills to be successful offensively as we return very little scoring from last year. We have very little experience competing at the varsity level so we will need to adjust to the speed and physicality of the game quickly.”
The Indians will look to improve their league standing this season. Coach Burt picks Patrick Henry to take the top spot over last year’s champ Swanton, followed by Archbold, Liberty Center, Wauseon, Delta, Bryan and Evergreen.
“Overall, the league will be as balanced and competitive as it has been in a long time with a number of teams capable of winning the league title,” said Burt. “Swanton has many key players back off of their league championship team from last year. PH returns a great deal of experience coming off of a great season last year. Archbold has tremendous talent and a number of players that can hurt you on the perimeter. Liberty Center has very good athletes and a nice core returning. Delta played very well down the stretch last year and has everything back. Bryan and Evergreen both have quality players and will play extremely hard.”
Wauseon heads to Archbold this Saturday night to begin the season. The game is of the non-league variety.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.