Chardon returns just one starter from last season’s squad that finished 14-10, but the Hilltoppers aren’t short on talent.
Third-year coach Chard Murawski is confident his senior-laden squad has the athleticism and leadership to be competitive in the Western Reserve Conference and beyond.
“Our players work extremely hard,” Murawski said. “We have one returning starter and very little varsity experience. We have great senior leadership who will help us through this season.”
The Hilltoppers will be tested early as four new starters settle into their roles.
“It will be a trial by fire this year,” Murawski said.
Senior guard Ben Sulka is the lone returning starter. The 6-fot-2 shooting guard will be counted on to continue to shine on both ends of the court.
“He’s the most athletic on the team,” Murawski said. “He’s the best overall scorer/slasher. He is also a phenomenal rebounder.”
Seniors Mikey Corsillo and Jake Skilton also will start at guard.
Corsillo is a 5-foot-10 point guard while Skilton is a 5-foot-11 shooting guard.
“Mikey is an extremely quick point guard and he has the best ball-handling skills on the team,” Murawski said. “Jake Skilton is a great shooter. He’s a physical guard with a high basketball IQ.”
Senior Jacob Hougan, a 6-foot-7 center, and freshman Nathanael Sulka, a 6-foot-2 forward, round out the projected starting lineup.
“Nathanael Sulka is a gifted freshman who will make significant contributions,” Murawski said. “He has great athleticism and is very physically gifted. Jacob Hougan is a big, tall post presence. He’s a good finisher around the rim.”
Seniors Patrick Mears (5-10), Will Kidd (6-3) and Dante Perrico (6-0) and sophomores Brady Toth (6-3), Ethan Sole (6-1) and Drew Fetchik (5-10) also are expected to contribute.
While the Hilltoppers enter the season with plenty of potential, they’ll need to remain healthy to achieve their goals during the 2018-2019 season.