Hawken graduated four starters from the team that won the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division title last winter, but the cupboard isn’t exactly bare.
The Hawks return five players who gained valuable experience last year and four of five projected starters are seniors.
“Our expectations are always the same, and that is to be the best team we can possibly be, get the most out of ourselves we can every day, and push each other to succeed,” said Hawken 14th-year head coach Shawn McGregor. “We are a very deep team and to maximize that strength we will attempt to play up-tempo and in space on both ends of the floor. We will look to our guards to lead us and finish games down the stretch.”
Senior point guard Hugh Brown returns as one of the league’s top players.
He averaged 14.8 points, 4.3 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 3.1 steals per game last season on the way to earning the league’s MVP award. He is a three-time all-conference performer and is considering his career options at several different colleges including Bethune-Cookman, Lake Erie and John Carroll.
“Hugh is one of the best point guards in the area,” McGregor said. “He has an off the chart basketball IQ and will help to lead us to what we think could be a good year for the Hawks.”
Senior shooting guard Charlie Ross, senior small forward Jimmy Clark and senior center T.J. Perusek also are slated to start for the Hawks in 2017-2018.
Ross averaged 4.2 points and 1.9 steals per game while Clark dropped 4.5 points with 2.3 rebounds per contest.
“Charlie is a hardworking, very skilled athlete that will be counted on to be a large part of the team’s success,” McGregor said. “Jimmy was our defensive stopper last year whose role will expand on the offensive side in order for us to be as good as we can be. (Perusek is a) tough, hard-working kid that will be counted on to man the paint. He has the ability to stretch the floor and physical enough to hold his own on the interior.”
Junior power forward Michael Snyder rounds out the starting lineup.
He averaged 4.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game last year.
“Michael is a tremendous athlete that we will rely on to help us on the glass this year,” McGregor said. “He is a hard-working, skilled player who will be counted on to be a threat from inside and out.”
McGregor also expects seniors Eli Ehrbar, Audith Abraham, and Nick Canitia to make an impact this winter.