Preseason rankings for Suburban Big Six boys basketball teams
New faces mean the Suburban Big Six will have a new champion in 2008-09.
The Examiner’s poll of the coaches has Park Hill South as the preseason favorite followed by Chrisman, Oak Park, Truman, Park Hill and Winnetonka.
A coach couldn’t rank his own team. Defending champion Lee’s Summit has moved to the Big Seven.
Because of returnees Ivo Baltic, Daniel Sienhdel, Indy Sienhdel, Nick Bamber, Kyle Sloan, Tyler Keesee and Rocky Benton from a 15-13 team, it’s probably no surprise South is the favorite. And 6-foot, 8-inch sophomore newcomer Adam Schemenauer could be a force.
“We have a really good group this season,” coach Anthony Perry said. “These guys have been playing together for six years now, so the expectations are pretty high for them. We have a lot of experience returning and a group of seniors that are hungry for success. Our goal is to have another competitive season.”
WILLIAM CHRISMAN: This could be the best Chrisman team in several years.
The six returnees include Jon Ekey and Justin Clark, who have signed with Illinois State plus Bobby Byrom, Josh Yakovitz, Korey Stucker, Matt Lickey and Truman transfer Nathan Martin.
“This is our fourth year of playing the Grinnell system and these guys feel very comfortable with it,” coach John Vickers said. “We have an incredibly tough schedule that will give us some great experiences and hopefully prepare us for the finish.”
OAK PARK: Perennially strong Oak Park could make a big impact in its first year in the Big Six because of lettermen James Robinson, Tommie Brown, Preston Coughlin, Kyle Bauch, Cameron Niederhauser and Mark Wopata.
“The Oak Park Northmen have won 20 games four of the last six years, been ranked in the state’s top 10 and have won three district titles,” said veteran coach Fred Turner, who is starting his 34th year as a heed coach with a record of 534-289.
“Our strengths will be tradition and defense.”
All-district and all-conference guard Robinson should be one of the conference’s top playmakers.
TRUMAN: Tyler Sevy, Darian Harris and James Hosey return from a 20-10 team.
“We will be young and lacking some experience,” coach Billy Guinnee said. “However, we will be quick with good scorers. Rebounding will be a concern.”
PARK HILL: Park Hill returns lettermen Courtland Fields, Clay King, Joel Hey and Chris Nsenki.
“We lost eight seniors from last year’s team, so there are lots of opportunities for players to step up,” coach David Garrison said. “The definite strength of our team should be our guard play. Fields and King are returning two-year starters.”
WINNETONKA: Lettermen Garvel Claggett, Preston Oakes, Alex Pinetti and Chris Fitzpatrick could enable Winnetonka to bounce back from a 5-18 season.
“We will be a very versatile bunch,” coach Derek Howard said. “We will be able to play a variety of styles. We look forward to a great year as this group is passionate about the game.”