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After finishing 13-11 last year, the Cardington boys will attempt to improve on that mark behind six returning letter winners.

Junior Devin Pearl was a second-team pick by the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference and District 11 and also was given honorable mention recognition by the Central District for averaging 12.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

Also, Trey Williams was named to the second team in District 11 and earned honorable mention recognition from the MOAC and Central District. The senior picked up 9.6 points and 7.7 boards per contest.

Dalton Snider, Skyler Bowling, Garrett Wagner and Daniel Kill also earned letters last year for coach Rod Brown, who is entering his fifth year as head coach of the team.

The team will have some big shoes to fill, though, as five players graduated from last year’s squad. Both Mac Thompson and Cole Hess were three-year letter winners. Thompson (13.2 points) was a first-team pick in the MOAC and DIstrict 11 and was named honorable mention in the Central District, while Hess added 11.9 points per game. Clayton Fister, Mikey Taha and Tyson Blackwell also graduated.

New to the varsity squad will be Derek Goodman, Luke McCarrell, Clayton Clark, Scotty Osborne and Nate Craig.

“We are very guard-oriented with not a lot of height once again, but we will look to apply a lot of pressure on defense and play a high-paced up-tempo and aggressive style,” said Brown.

The coach noted that his team’s goals will be to improve on last year’s record, finishing in the top half of the Blue Division and to win their games at home.

In the conference, Brown feels that Centerburg, Northmor and Mount Gilead will be the teams they’ll have to contend with in order to achieve those goals.

Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS