OXFORD — Talawanda boys’ basketball coach Eddie Glasser has high expectations for his squad this season, despite the loss of several players from last year’s squad. “Even though we graduated quite a few seniors and lost two first-team all-league players, expectations are still high for this group,” Glasser said.
The Braves were 9-14 overall last season and finished in the middle of pack in the Southwest Ohio Conference at 5-7. Northwest topped the standings in 2015-16 with a 11-1 conference mark. Little Miami (9-3) and Mount Healthy (8-4) were the only other teams with winning records in SWOC action.
Glasser is in his third season as the varsity head coach and eighth season overall with Talawanda. He started with the Braves at the freshman level in 2010 and worked his way to varsity.
This year’s Talawanda varsity squad includes: Justin Boggs, Evan James, Charlie Winkler, Blake Cooke, Ty Hornsby, Josh Dewitt, Kelvin Reisenfeld, Blake Bryan, Dalton Persinger, and Andrew O’Donnel.
Among the graduates from last season was Jacob Hiler, who led the SWOC in scoring, averaging 17 points per game. Hiler was a First Team selection last season. Jacob Orona was also selected to the First Team in his senior season. Orona led the conference in rebounds, averaging over nine boards a game.
“We return three players with varsity experience from last season who should be big contributors — Boggs, James, and O’Donnel. We also return two players who did not play their junior year but played their freshman and sophomore year — Cooke and Reinsenfeld.”
The rest of the varsity team is made up of juniors and one senior who played on othe successful JV team last season – juniors, Hornsby, Dewitt, Persinger and Bryan; and senior – Winkler.
“This team has been one of the hardest working teams I’ve ever been around. They get after it in practice and do so with a very workmanlike attitude,” Glasser said.
“We have great leadership in practice and they hold each other accountable,” he added. “They committed themselves in our offseason and summer program, which has really improved these players individually. It has also allowed us to gel as a team since we are playing quite a few new faces. It was by far one of the best offseasons we have had in my years of coaching at Talawanda.”
The Braves will open the season on Friday, Dec. 2, hosting Badin High School. They stay at home the following week, taking on Taylor High School on Tuesday, before going on the road to Franklin on Saturday. Talawanda will play its first SWOC matchup on Friday, Dec. 16, against Little Miami.