OLD FORT — Coach Eric Hoover knows his team is inexperienced, but the one he does have is a good one.
Hootie Cleveland is the only returning starter for the Stockaders, and he will once again be key for Old Fort.
“We may experience some growing pains throughout the season,” Hoover said. “Also, we are vertically challenged. 6-foot-3, 6-2, 6-0, and everyone else is 5-9 or shorter. So we will have to find ways to combat being undersized nearly every night out.”
Gone from the Stockaders is a quartet of players who aided Old Fort to 11 wins last season.
Shooting guard Chris Anstead (9.9 points per game), center Job Lotycz (9.5 points, 5.4 rebounds), power forward Jake Wilson (8.6 points, 6.0 rebounds) and point guard Adam Alexander (7.5 points, 5.7 assists) all graduated, leaving quite an emptiness to last year’s starting lineup.
“We haven’t set our team goals for the season yet,” Hoover said. “Right now we are taking it one drill at a time and just trying to get better every day. I think we will be competitive and we will work hard to give ourselves a chance to win every night.”
Senior forwards Marc Harris and Noah Henkel, junior forward/center Eric Bell, and sophomore guards Luke Wagner, Payn Young and Zach Kohlenberg will have an impact on varsity this season and could see significant time.
“The kids are excited about the season, working hard, and have been attentive and coachable during the preseason,” Hoover said.