PORTSMOUTH — The numbers, and thus the hopes, are up for the Notre Dame Titans boys basketball team.
As second-year in his second stint head coach Matt Mader discussed his young Titan squad, he did so by being encouraged about the increased numbers in the program — which is at 22 this year.
The Titans, in Mader’s ninth overall season at Notre Dame, try to improve upon last season’s struggling 2-21 mark — which included only a 1-13 tally in the Southern Ohio Conference Division I.
Notre Dame graduated four-year starters Ben Mader and Cole Harrell, as Mader — the Titans’ top scorer last season — made the Special Mention list for the Ohio Prep Sportswriters’ Association all-Southeast District Division IV group.
Notre Dame does return three starters — 5-10 junior Jackson Clark, 6-2 junior Caleb Nichols and 5-10 junior Ethan Kammer.
Clark was the club’s second-leading scorer, Nichols the top rebounder, and Kammer covering all other aspects of the game.
Coach Mader mentioned that while the Titans feature additional depth, they do lack varsity experience — and of course are experiencing a shorter turnaround time from football season to the hardwood.
”Practice is going very well right now. With football season being one week later this year, combined with our basketball season being a week early, we are facing a short turnaround time in between seasons. The strength of this team compared to last season’s is depth. We have added several players to our program that are competing for playing time right now,” said Mader. “Our practices have been very competitive and encouraging. We are working on getting our kids in basketball shape, and overcoming our overall youth and lack of varsity experience from top to bottom with half of our roster being freshmen.”
The remainder of the Titans’ roster includes seniors Xavier Shepherd (6-2), Tanner Richards (5-7) and Christian Alvarez (5-10), junior Chris Schmidt (5-11), sophomores Jarren Edgington (6-4), Jermaine Powell (5-11) and Gary Zheng (5-8) — and freshmen Carter Campbell (6-0), Dominic Sparks (6-5) and Dylan Seison (5-10).
”Our guard play appears to be stronger. Jackson Clark, Ethan Kammer, Jermaine Powell and Dylan Seison have impressed along with our front line of Caleb Nichols, Jarren Edington, Chris Schmidt, Carter Campbell and Dom Sparks,” said Mader.
The coach continued by explaining that defending division champion New Boston is the team to beat, while Ironton St. Joseph returns almost everybody.
“Our goal every year is to win a conference championship and capture another sectional championship to punch our ticket to The Convo in Athens,” said Mader.
But first things first, the Titans have higher hopes due to greater numbers.
Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @BoggsSports © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved