Railer boys return three starters
With three starters returning, the Newton High School boys’ basketball team will still have some holes to fill for the 2020-21 season.
Andy Preston returns for his fourth season as the Railer coach in two tenures. He is 25-37 at Newton.
The Railers were 8-12 last season, 4-8 in Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I play. Under the KSHSAA new Class 5A post-season format, the Railers didn’t qualify for the sub-state tournament.
Returning starters include Jaxon Brackeen (6-2, sr., G, 12.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2.0 spg), Owen Mills (6-6, jr., F, 6.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.5 bpg) and Dylan Petz (6-0, jr., G, 5.0 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 1.2 apg).
Brackeen was an All-AV-CTL I pick last season. He is a three-year starter.
Other returning players include Elijah Edwards (5-11, sr., G), Max Ruth (6-0, sr., F), Tanner Dorrell (6-1, jr., F), Joe Slechta (6-2, jr., G), Camden Carr (5-8, so., G), Caleb Anderson (5-9, jr., G), Nathanial Garcia (6-5, jr., F) and Ashton Castro (6-4, so., F).
“Replacing three starters to graduation will be the most prevalent question surrounding the 20-21 season,” Preston said. “The graduation of Alex Krogemier (12 ppg, 5 rpg, 2.7 spg, 2 apg), Jaheem Ray (12 ppg, 6.3 apg) and Kolyn Sauceda (9 ppg, 3 rpg, 3 spg) will be evident. However, senior reserves Max Ruth and Elijah Edwards bring two years of varsity experience and are ready for larger roles this season. Jaxon Brackeen a two-year starter and returning all-league player will look to fill the point guard duties. Owen Mills, the other returning starter, looks to build on a solid sophomore season as the Railroader’s big man. Question marks still surround our bench and depth this year. We do return a plethora of scoring options and many outside shooting threats as we continue to play an up-tempo style of basketball.”
The AV-CTL I underwent some changes in the off-season as Maize South moved up from Division II and will replace Salina Central.
Campus is the defending Division I champion and finished with an unbeaten season, beating Manhattan in the first round of Class 6A state play before the tournament was halted because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Derby lost to Campus in the sub-state finals.
Non-league opponents for Newton (schedule subject to change) include Dodge City, McPherson, Valley Center and Salina Central. Newton will return to the GWAC-AVCTL Challenge (opponent to be determined) and the Dodge City Tournament of Champions.
(subject to revision)
Dec. 5 @ Dodge City
Dec. 8 @ McPherson
Dec. 10-12 @ GWAC-AV-CTL Challenge:
Dec. 11 vs. Wichita North at Wichita Heights (G 6 p.m.)
Dec. 15 Hutchinson
Dec. 18 Campus
Dec. 21 @ Maize South
Jan. 8 Valley Center
Jan. 12 Salina South
Jan. 15 @ Derby
Jan. 21-23 @ Dodge City TOC (B) TBA
Jan. 28-30 Newton Inv. (G) TBA
Feb. 2 @ Maize
Feb. 5 @ Hutchinson
Feb. 9 @ Campus
Feb. 12 Maize South
Feb. 16 Derby
Feb. 19 @ Salina South
Feb. 23 Salina Central
Feb. 26 Maize
March 2-6 Sub-State TBA
March 10-13 State @ White Auditorium, Emporia