With seven seniors on the roster, second-year Napoleon boys basketball coach Chad Bostelman said there is going to be plenty of competition for playing time this season.
“It’s going to be competitive,” said Bostleman, whose Wildcats were 5-17 overall and 2-12 in the Northern Lakes League last season. “It’s a unique and rare thing to have (eight) seniors, but I didn’t see any reason to cut anyone. Those players know it’s going to be very competitive for playing time.”
Napoleon returns six letterwinners, including seniors Zack Rosebrook, Gaven Brubaker, Jaden Brubaker, Isaac Fraker and Chase Peckinpaugh. Junior Josh Mack is also back.
Seniors Elliot Bruback and Caden Miller are newcomers.
Junior Tanner Rubinstein saw some action last season, while juniors Kaleb Woods and Clay Behnfeldt are looking to make the jump from junior varsity. Sophomores Blake Wolf and Caleb Stoner also are expected to battle for playing time.
Bostelman said Rosebrook is the leader of the team at point guard, while Mack and Rubinstein are athletic forwards. Fraker returns to play the post with Peckinpaugh.
The wing spot will be a battle with both Brubakers, Woods and Wolf currently the top competitors.
“Our two most improved players are juniors and I am hopeful Blake Wolf is ready to take that next step and be the core of the team,” said Bostelman. “It comes down to our senior group and if they are going to be good teammates.”
The Wildcats averaged less than 40 points per game last season, something Bostelman desperately wants to improve upon this season.
“If we don’t play with some kind of fire and just play in what we call ‘chill mode’ then we can expect the same results as last year,” said the Napoleon coach. “I am hoping we have people on the floor that are in attack mode. We are looking to get out and go. We need to get some easy baskets. Our emphasis is getting out on offense. We never want to be walking up the floor.”
Bostelman points to Perrysburg as the favorite in the NLL, with Anthony Wayne, Northview and Southview also battling atop the conference standings.
“In general, we would like to be more competitive,” said Bostelman. “We were in a lot of lopsided games last year. With our schedule, it’s really difficult. We have to take it one game at a time. If you look at our schedule the one thing that jumps out at you is do not look ahead.
“We think we are much more athletic this year,” added Bostelman. “But, we are going to have to make some shots.”