LAKEVIEW — With a little more than a week before the boys high school basketball season begins, one thing is for certain, the Lakeview Wildcats will feature a very young team.
With just two returning seniors, it’s very possible the Wildcats could have not one, not two, but three sophomores in the starting lineup this season.
Lakeview coach Mike Schreiber said, despite the class level, this team has put in a lot of offseason effort and has experience together.
“The core of this team has put in a massive amount of time in the offseason in preparation for this year’s campaign,” he said. “Although we are young, the base of this team has already played a lot of games together.”
Lakeview finished last year 7-14 overall. Their season ended with a 59-40 loss to Sparta in the district semifinal game at Belding.
Gone from that team are Brad Root (second team all-conference), Kolter Schwartz, Brent Leach, Kyle Ringlever and Brock Kanouse among others.
Returning starter Shawn Lindsey — just a junior — is beginning his third varsity season with the Wildcats. He will be looked upon to lead this year with an all-around game.
“Shawn is our floor leader at this point,” Schreiber said. “We will look to him for positive contributions in all facets of the game.”
Lindsey earned an honorable mention in the CSAA a year ago when he averaged 1.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and two rebounds per game.
Other returning starters include Travis Spanberger (senior), Beau Jensen (senior) and Nate Shurlow (sophomore).
“This team is young, so it’s tough to tell how far we will go this year,” Schreiber said. “But I believe we have the potential to be an area threat the next couple of seasons.
Among the potential starting sophomores, along with Schurlow, are Caleb Ruvalcaba and John Zuluaga-Torres. Another junior, Brad Hamlin, is expected to help out, as well.
“Our three sophomores will make important contributions this year,” Schreiber said. “Hamlin should put some muscle into our rebounding and add some offensive punch.”
Schreiber, despite the youth, feels his team will be more consistent this year.
“I believe we will be more consistent offensively this year and I hope we become a more tenacious defensive squad,” Schreiber said.
Lakeview opens the season Dec. 3 at home against Montabella. They begin conference play on Dec. 6 at Morley Stanwood.
Schreiber said the conference race is too early to tell what will happen.
“Reed City and Big Rapids are always tough. The rest of the league is too early to tell,” he said.”