Camdenton Lakers, Osage Indians, Eldon Mustangs, Versailles Tigers, Macks Creek Pirates and Climax Springs Cougars

CAMDENTON LAKERS

From Head Coach Craig Campbell: 

Class/District: Class 4, District 10

2018-19 Record or Finish: 17-12 with first district title since 1982 and loss to eventual state champion Rock Bridge in sectionals

Moved or Graduated Athletes: Graduated eight seniors (Kelton Virtue, T.J. Anderson, Keegan Ford, Luke Eveland, Jaben Shockley, David Smith, Kyle Boatman and Riley Head)

Top Returners and any Accolades: Paxton DeLaurent (First Team All-District, Honorable Mention All-Conference), Brandon Pasley (First Team All-District), Drake Miller, Cooper Ezard, Joel Mason and Jeremaya Bell

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for a brand new season?

A: I am looking forward to building on what we accomplished last year and trying to take it a step farther. We finished in the middle in the conference, and I would like to move to the upper echelon of the conference this year. Watching the guys develop the team chemistry needed to play well and win ball games will be fun to watch, especially when everyone gets here.

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time?

A: The strengths would be in the way we can play fast. If we continue to buy into playing fast, taking care of the ball, and making the other team uncomfortable when we are on defense, we have a good shot at being pretty good this year.

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping the team can improve upon?

A: Defense will be a big focal point this year and being able to pressure teams into turnovers. We want to push the tempo and make the other team uncomfortable with the speed we play. If we can improve in that aspect it will be fun to watch the boys play.

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say the keys to success are for this year?

A: Keys to success are the same every year. 1) Work to improve everyday, and try to be better than you were the day before. 2) Play for your teammates, fans, coaches, and yourself to the point every one of those knows you fought for them. 3) No matter the final score, if you played the way you are capable of playing, played the right way, and can hold your head high, that was a successful game. Some of our goals as a team are to have another winning season, compete for a district title, and try to improve all season long to play our best basketball when we hit postseason.

OSAGE INDIANS

From Head Coach Aaron Shockley:

Class/District: Class 4, District 10

2018-19 Record or Finish: 6-18 with a first round district loss to Marshall

Moved or Graduated Athletes: Dalton Depeé, Trey Rassenfoss, Parker Jett, Robert Custer and Ryan Moore

Top Returners and any Accolades: Dylan Long (Mid-Missouri Roundball Elite 30), Logan Havner, Drew Edwards, Andrew Bryant, James Hutchcraft, Alton Drace, Brockton McLaughlin, Grant Steen and Paven Clark (Moved in)

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for a brand new season?

A: This group of guys worked really hard in the offseason, they answered our coaching staff anytime we challenged them. They have been asked to do more this year, they want to leave a positive legacy and help turn Osage back into a contender. They just get after it, the core group is starting to understand what it is going to take and it is becoming contagious within our program.

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time?

A: Our biggest strength is that we have seven or eight guys who can score in double figures on any given night. The guys are fighters, they won’t give up and that is a huge strength for us. We won’t always be the most talented but we want to hang our hats on outworking our opponents.

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping this team can improve upon?

A: As the season grows we hope our understanding for our offense and each other grows, we want to be a more player-led team and let the players make more decisions and calls on the court.

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say the keys to success are for this year?

A: We don’t have goals of winning this or that, we want to come in and work everyday. Our ultimate goal is to improve everyday with the hopes of playing our best basketball come playoff time. 

ELDON MUSTANGS

From Head Coach Cory Casey:

Class/District: Class 3, District 9

2018-19 Record or Finish: 7-20 with a district semifinal loss to Clinton

Moved or Graduated Athletes: We lose two seniors from last year's team

Top Returners and any Accolades: We have four returning seniors with starting experience: Logan Hall, Sam Rivera, Collin Tamm and Clayton Moore

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for a brand new season?

A: I am looking forward to seeing how our team progresses as the season moves forward. We are trying hard to change the culture in a positive way. I am looking forward and do believe that our kids will respond well. We can be competitive if we stay focussed, stay positive, play together and work hard.

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time?

A: Our four seniors provide the strength we need as long as they continue to learn how to lead effectively. We are striving to be a much more defensive-minded team than in recent years.

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping this team can improve upon?

A: I hope our fluidity in our offense continues to progress as we learn a new system, along with the way we handle adversity.

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say the keys to success are for this year?

A: The keys to our success are staying together, staying humble, listening and learning everyday and staying hungry. Fighting to compete and get better every day.  If we can do these things, we will have a great chance of seeing success, and turning the culture around in the right direction.

VERSAILLES TIGERS

From Head Coach Jason Ollison:

Class/District: Class 3, District 9

2018-19 Record or Finish: 13-16 with district championship and loss to Blair Oaks in sectionals

Moved or Graduated Athletes: Wyatt Espinosa, Sha Leach, Dylan Spicer, Colbey Boicourt and Garrett Boatright

Top Returners and any Accolades: Coby Williams (All-Conference, All-District and All-State)

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for a brand new season?

A: We have a lot of depth this season. Our sophomore and junior classes have several athletes who will contribute at the varsity level. Combining these players with our seniors will give us a deep group of athletes that will allow us to play a lot faster than we have in the past.

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time?

A: Guard play and depth will be our strengths. 

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping this team can improve upon?

A: Our defense and rebounding are things that we will need to continue to work on as the season goes on. Because we are undersized, we will have to work together to defend and rebound the basketball.

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say the keys to success are for this year?

A: In order for us to win another district championship and move on through the state tournament, we are going to have to play pressure defense consistently and force other teams into our style. 

MACKS CREEK PIRATES

From Head Coach Ron Duggan:

Class/District: Class 1, District 7

2018-19 Record or Finish: 15-12 with a loss in the district championship to St. Elizabeth

Moved or Graduated Athletes: Zane Whitworth and Oscar Cortez

Top Returners and any Accolades: Hunter Lane (All-Conference, All-District, All-State averaging 21 points and 15 rebounds per game) Colton Walter, Cole Register, Trevor Haines and Tanner Smith)

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for a brand new season?

A: We are excited about our incoming freshman class and a couple of really good sophomores, all of which have been competing for playing time.

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time?

A: Our strength will be in our numbers. We have nine and possibly 10 players that we can rotate in, which gives us the ability to run the floor the entire game.

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping this team can improve upon?

A: Our hopes as the season goes along is just to improve on our discipline and teamwork, which should turn into wins for us.

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say the keys to success are for this year?

A: Our goal this year is to win a district championship and compete for our conference title. We believe we have the team to do just that. As long as we stay healthy and improve on our man defense, we should have a lot of success.

CLIMAX SPRINGS COUGARS

From Head Coach James Butterfield:

Class/District: Class 1, District 7

2018-19 Record or Finish: 13-13 with a loss in the district semifinals to St. Elizabeth

Moved or Graduated Athletes: Jake Reed and Gabe Schoonover

Top Returners and any Accolades: We return four starters and get back a junior and sophomore that were unable to play last year.

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for a brand new season?

A: We are looking to improve significantly this year. We have a quartet of guards to watch out for. Sophomores Dylan Dake and Mark Henderson along with juniors James McCartney and Cole Smith look to unleash havoc on opposing teams. Our forwards and two centers are also very talented. We look to play as many as 10 guys on the varsity level this year. All in all, it is going to be an exciting season and we can't wait to start.