Cobden boys aim for conference title
The season hasn’t begun yet, but second-year Cobden High School boys’ basketball coach Wendell Wheeler likes what’s happening with the team.
“We’ve kind of hit the ground running,” Wheeler said. “We’re a lot further along than we were this time last year.”
During the summer in the offseason program, the Appleknockers played a lot of strong competition and had a good fall conditioning program.
“We’ve got to keep improving on what we did in the summer,” Wheeler said. “We had a good summer and played a lot of bigger schools.”
Last season, the Appleknockers posted their first 21-game winning season in 56 years and finished 21-10 overall.
“We got to keep building from the foundation we laid last year,” Wheeler said. “We’ve got to pick up where we left off.”
Wheeler’s hopes are on three starters returning from that squad: a pair of seniors in 6-0 guard Dylan Lewey and 6-6 center Joe Brumleve and 6-5 junior forward Noah Franklin.
Two seniors who saw plenty of playing time last season are 6-1 guard Alex Remsey and 6-2 forward Landon Britt.
Other junior candidates are 5-10 guard Sippy Zamora and 6-3 forward John Eck.
Freshmen who could be called on to contribute at the varsity level are 6-3 forward Tyler Franklin and 6-4 forward Drake Campbell.
Wheeler would like to see the squad make a run for the South Egyptian Conference title this season.
“A few years we’ve tied for the conference, but we haven’t won the conference outright for 41 years,” Wheeler said.
Besides the conferenc teams, the Appleknockers have added some other teams to their schedule this season, including non-confererence foes West Frankfort, Massac County, Christopher and Steeleville.
Cobden opens its season against Eldorado in first-round action at the Vienna Tournament on Monday, Nov. 25. The Appleknockers begin conference play at Joppa Friday, Dec. 6.