Brian Leppelmeier returns for his second year as head boys basketball coach at Pettisville with eight letterwinners from a team that finished 12-11 last season, 9-3 in the Buckeye Border Conference.
Returning are seniors Dillon King (forward, Second Team All-Buckeye Border Conference, 6.5 points per game, 5 rebounds per game), Justin Rupp (guard, BBC honorable mention, 8.5 ppg), Landon Roth (forward, 4.2 ppg), Jaret Rychener (forward); juniors Detric Yoder (guard, BBC honorable mention, 8.9 ppg, 3.2 assists per game), Canidate Vickery (guard, 3.9 ppg), Austin Horning (guard); and sophomore Graeme Jacoby (center, 6 ppg, 3.5 rpg).
“We are returning several varsity letterwinners and some with considerable varsity experience,” said Leppelmeier. “Our overall team attitude and willingness to work hard has been evident this preseason.”
Lost to graduation were Gabe Beck (First Team All- BBC, honorable mention District 7, 8.0 ppg, 6 rpg), Caleb Rychener (honorable mention District 7, 8.6 ppg, 7 rpg), and Ben Gray.
“It will be a challenge to replace Gabe Beck and Caleb Rychener,” said Leppelmeier. “Both were solid rebounders on both ends of the floor.
“A challenge at the beginning of each year for returning players is learning and accepting new roles on the team.”
As far as the league outlook, Leppelmeier thinks the BBC will be “balanced and competitive this year.”
Justin Rufenacht is the varsity assistant coach, while Michael Schrock is the junior varsity coach.
Chad Aeschliman is the freshman coach.
The Birds open the season, Friday, Dec. 1, when they host Fayette in the Bird Cage.