NORTH ROBINSON — Starting his 14th season as Colonel Crawford’s boys basketball coach, David Sheldon welcomes all but two members of last season’s district runner-up squad. Gone are Zye Shipman and fan favorite Bruce Shull.
Sheldon enters the season with a career mark of 218-90, including 20-5 last season, good for second place in the Northern-10 Athletic Conference as Crawford finished 13-3 in league play.Conference champ Mohawk was 22-2 and 15-1.
Gavin Feichtner and Jordan Fenner are back or their senior seasons, joined by Reis Walker as the upperclassmen leadership on the court. Feichtner finished with special mention, All-Ohio honors, District 6 Coaches Association First-Team honors, Northwest District Second-Team honors and N-10 First-Team accolades in his junior campaign. Feichtner finished sixth in scoring in the conference (15.5 points per game), fifth in rebounding (7.6 rebounds per game) and fourth in three-point field goal percentage at 39.5 percent. Fenner, the primary ball-handler for the Eagles, was the fifth highest scorer in the N-10 (15.6 ppg) and dished out the fourth most assists per game (3.8). Fenner joined Feichtner on the District 6 Coaches Association First-Team and N-10 First-Team while receiving a Northwest District Third-Team nod.
Juniors Chase Walker and Brock Ritzhaupt will look to provide some height, as well as speed up and down the floor. Walker was named to the N-10 Second-Team in his sophomore season. Sophomore Mason Studer will also provide ball handling for Crawford this season after seeing varsity time as a freshman last winter.
“It’s definitely a strength to be able to return six letterwinners,” Sheldon said.
The Eagles have won eight straight sectional championships.
This season, Colonel Crawford moves up from Division 4 to Division 3.
“If there is anywhere that we’ll need to see continued improvement as the season progresses, it will be in our depth. We must constantly continue developing our guys off of the bench,” Sheldon said.
Juniors Mason McKibben and Drayton Burkhart are expected to have a lot of playing time, as are sophomores Nolan McKibben and Carter Valentine.
Colonel Crawford will use its base offense of motion and sets and base man-to-man defense to look to get over the hump of finishing as District runner-ups. Last season, the Eagles lost to South Central Trojans it the district title game.
Joining Sheldon on the sidelines are Nate Hill, Brett Kaple, Zac Bauer and Adam Daniels.
Mohawk dethroned Upper Sandusky last season. The Rams had won three league titles in a row. Upper (19-6 and 13-3) was third last season, after the Eagles, followed by 4. Carey (15-9, 10-6); 5. Wynford(5-18, 5-11); 6. Seneca East (8-15, 5-11); 7. Ridgedale (10-14, 4-12); 8. Buckeye Central (6-17, 4-12) and 9. Bucyrus(3-20, 3-13).
“I look for Upper Sandusky, Carey, Mohawk, Wynford and ourselves to be at the top of the league,” Sheldon said.
The season starts Wednesday, Nov. 27, at home, vs. Crestline. The Eagles kick off conference play Saturday, Dec. 7, at home, vs. Upper Sandusky.
Gavin Feichtner returns for his senior season for the Colonel Crawford Eagles in 2019-2020 following a junior season that saw the big man receiving many postseason accolades.
Point guard Jordan Fenner looks to carry on the tradition of success for the Colonel Crawford Eagles in his senior season. Fenner finished with a First-Team N-10 nod to go along with district awards for his work for Crawford in his junior season.
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