The Swanton girls basketball team will look to rebound from a difficult season with the return of six letter winners.
The Bulldogs started last season strong, but could not recover from a season-ending injury to Frankie Nelson. They finished 9-14 overall, but 0-7 in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League.
Eight seniors are gone from that team, including Nelson, who was named to the District 7 second team, despite her injury in the 10th game. Even with the large number of graduates, Swanton does return six letter winners.
A pair of honorable mention all-league performers lead the returnees. Alaina Pelland, who was also honorable mention in District 7, and Katie Floyd return for the Bulldogs.
Other returning letter winners are Megan Haselman, Allison Fagerman, Olivia Gowing, and Emma Crow.
Promising newcomers, according to Coach Eric Oakes, are Sammi Nelson, Miranda Yeager, Kyleigh Shinaver, Peighton Manning, Jessica Finfera, and Avalon Keiser. Incoming freshmen are Lyla Carrizales, Carli LaGrange, Lauren Bettinger and Audrey Robinson.
Oakes, who has compiled a 92-72 record as Swanton’s head coach, said this year’s team will be athletic and fast.
“We should have good depth in all positions. Even though we graduated 8 seniors we have a number of players that got good minutes last year at the varsity level,” he said.
Oakes said the Bulldogs need to be much better at rebounding this year. They also will need to be more aggressive taking the ball to the hoop, he added.
“I think defensively we should be pretty good,” Oakes said. “Offensive side if we can see the floor and make good decisions we will be pretty competitive.”
The Bulldogs open the season on Friday against Emmanuel Christian. They open league play Dec. 23 at rival Evergreen.