The Valmeyer High School boys basketball team returns a solid crop of starters from last season’s squad that went 14-14.
Many team members were key components of the baseball squad that enjoyed success in the spring.
“We have four returning starters in Michael Chism, Phillip Reinhardt, Cole Juelfs and Owen Miller,” Valmeyer head coach Rick Crossin said.
Freshman Jacob Rowald is also impressing the coach in the early going.
“We have a freshman in Jacob Rowald that shows great promise,” the coach said.
A 6-foot-3 senior, Chism is a lanky left-handed-shooting forward that can light up a scoreboard on any given night. He averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds per game last season while shooting 42.3 percent from three-point range.
Fellow senior starter Miller is a consistent scorer for the Pirates. He averaged 11.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season.
Reinhardt, who was the top pitcher on the state runner-up baseball team as a freshman, averaged nine points per game last season and even participated in the state three-point shooting contest.
Juelfs also enjoyed success on the baseball diamond and averaged eight points per game for the basketball team last season.
Other team members expected to contribute for the Pirates this season include Ryan Brinkman, Andrew Whipple, Logan Seidler, Riley McCarthy, Adrian Crossin, John Fausz and Collin Ford.
Valmeyer opened its season last Tuesday in the Turkey Tip-Off Classic at Metro-East Lutheran High School with a win over St. Louis College Prep, 56-29. The Pirates lost against Gibault last Wednesday and went 2-2 overall in tourney play.
Valmeyer should have a good shot at competing for the Cahokia Conference’s small-school Kaskaskia Division crown against the likes of Red Bud, New Athens, Lebanon, Steeleville, Dupo and Marissa.
“We’re looking to win at least 20 games, win our conference and a regional title,” Crossin said of his team’s goals for the 2017-18 season.