EATON — Alex Prater is ready to turn the Eaton boys’ basketball program around.
The Eagles first-year coach, and 5th in the past four seasons, is looking to build a program that is focused on establishing an elite culture that cultivates success on a daily basis.
Eaton will be seeking to improve on its 6-17 record from a year ago, which included going 0-12 in the Southwestern Buckeye League’s Southwestern Division.
Prater takes over for Sean Sims, who was hired in June, but stepped down in September to take a position at Cleveland State. Sims replaced Bob Madden, who resigned at the end of last season due to personal reasons, after just one season in charge of the program.
The Eagles return three players who saw playing time last season.
Senior Grant Sullender is a 6 foot, 3 inch wing player, who Prater said he expects to be the team’s best player and team leader.
“He is a great kid who works extremely hard,” he said.
Senior Aaron Tolliver, a 6-0 forward, is a physical player who works extremely hard and is expected to be the Eagles best defender, according to Prater.
Junior James Howard is an athletic guard at 5-11.
Prater said he expect contributions from senior Brandon Miller and juniors Owen Baumann, Isaac Manning and Nate Gard. In addition to sophomores Hunter Frost and Chayse Gray. Sophomore
“We expect our team to be competitive. We are in the process of building a strong program at Eaton that the school and community can take great pride in,” Prater said. “We are a defensive minded team that likes to attack our opponents in transition. Our team is working to become a more discipline and fundamentally sound team that competes on every possession.”
Prater said Franklin is most likely the team to beat in the SWBL Southwestern Division.
“The league is extremely competitive. It is a deep league and we are looking to be more competitive within the league this year. Franklin has to be considered the front runner in the Southwestern Division as they have earned that right with their high level of success,” he said.
Prater noted the coaching staff is focused on changing the culture of the program.
“Our program is working hard to build a comprehensive program from the ground up. Our program is full of hungry players who have a great desire to improve on a daily basis,” he said. “As a coaching staff, we are focused on establishing an elite culture that cultivates success on a daily basis.”
Eaton is scheduled to open the season at Twin Valley South as part of the Sixth Annual Twin Valley South Tip-Off Tournament. The Eagles will play Twin Valley South on Friday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the second game of the night. There is no junior varsity game on Friday.
On Saturday, Eaton will play at either 4 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. against either National Trail or Dixie. The Eagles junior varsity will begin its season at 2:30 p.m. Saturday against Twin Valley South.
The Eagles will travel to Preble Shawnee on Tuesday, Dec. 5 and Bellbrook on Friday, Dec. 8.
Eaton’s home opener is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 12 against Monroe.