The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Feb. 26, 2024

Season Preview: Crestview Knights

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

CONVOY — Crestview’s 2016-2017 basketball season could be considered a frustrating, yet good one. On one hand, the Knights won 15 games during the regular season. On the other hand, Crestview lost six, including five by a combined total of 12 points.

The Knights finished second in the Northwest Conference, won a sectional title and advanced to the Division IV district championship game before falling to eventual state semifinalist Delphos St. John’s.

Derek Stout is one of four returning starters for the Crestview Knights. (Bob Barnes photo)

Now, the Knights are primed for even bigger and better things. Head coach Jeremy Best returns eight letter winners, including four starters, and the team is favored by many to win the 2017-2018 NWC title, and enjoy a lengthy tournament run.

The four returning starters include 6-7 junior wing Javin Etzler, 6-4 senior post Derek Stout, 5-9 junior guard Drew Kline and 6-2 junior wing Wade Sheets. The other returning letter winners are 5-11 senior guard Brett Schumm, 6-2 senior wing Grant Schlagbaum, 5-9 junior guard Derick Dealey and 6-1 senior wing Trevor Gibson. Three others – 5-7 senior guard Charles Stefanek, 6-7 freshman post Kalen Etzler and 5-7 sophomore guard Jace Vining are expected to contribute as well.

Any combination of those players should cause matchup problems for opponents.

“Overall athleticism is solid, with the possibility to utilize our length,” head coach Jeremy Best said. “Having depth will depend on the idea that multiple players will produce results. We also have several guys who are three and four year guys, so overall youth should not be a question any longer.”

Due to the success of the Crestview football team, the Knights have postponed opening weekend games against Van Wert (now December 8) and Miller City (now January 8).

“Anytime one season disrupts the beginning of the next season there are some residual effects that can hang over,” Best said. “However, I anticipate our guys will make the transition and be ready when they become adjusted with the transition.”

In addition to Van Wert and Miller City, Crestview’s tough non-conference schedule includes Parkway, Edgerton, Fort Jennings, Ottoville, Delphos St. John’s, Arlington, Shawnee, Lima Central Catholic, Celina, Hicksville, Wayne Trace and New Knoxville.

In terms of the NWC, the conference should be competitive, but Best said many of the teams will sport new faces this season.

“The league had 90 percent of the All-League players depart due to graduation,” Best explained. “But there are plenty of teams that have key players returning ready to make impacts.”

“We have a mindset that we want to compete for an NWC title.”

POSTED: 11/29/17 at 8:26 am. FILED UNDER: Sports