The Cobden Appleknockers and head coach Rhett Barke did a pretty good job last season, beating a lot of teams that the should beat and they excelled in the tournaments that they played in.
Cobden finished 17-15 last season, 6-2 in the SEC before being eliminated by Gallatin County at the 1A Goreville Regional.
As he begins his seventh season as the head coach at Cobden, his Appleknockers will to replace graduated starters Logan Spalt, JT Moore and Jacob Furlow.
Returning starters include John Russell, a 5-foot-10 junior, 5-foot-10 senior Austin Lewey and 6-foot-3 junior Clayton Eck.
Coach Barke has a slew of players who all could be in varsity games this season, especially in the first week of the season as they switch tournaments to go to the Vienna Classic the first week of the season.
Five-foot-ten senior Dylan Duty lettered last season.
In order by school rank, senior Raul Palmerin is a 5-foot-8 guard.
Another senior, Hayden Young is a 6-foot forward.
Junior Connor Allen, a 5-foot-11 guard, is also on the list as is a bunch of sophomores and freshmen.
The sophomores include Bayden Ditterline, a 6-foot forward; 5-foot-11 guards Zane Nance and Cody Wiesman.
Ionatan Menees, a 6-foot-2 forward, is also a sophomore.
Coach B mentioned five other kids from the freshman class and all have size and skill.
“We have a tall incoming freshman class with some players that should make an impact early (Dylan Lewey & Joe Brumleve). They had back-to-back 20+ win seasons in each of their seventh & eighth grade years and state tournament appearances.”
Six-foot-four forward Joe Brumleve along with 6-foot-2 freshmen Carl Evans and Clayton Flamm.
Landon Britt is a 6-foot-1 freshman and Dylan Lewey is a 6-foot freshman.
All could end up in the lineup before seasons' end.
“We will have great floor leadership with Russell and the elder (Austin) Lewey the challenge will be how the young players respond to the change in competition level as freshman,” said Coach Barke, a Pittsfield native. “We don't need all the freshman to be mature, but we do need at least two of them to grow mentally as much as they have in height. Look for us to compete in all games and be poised to make noise late in the season.”


Vienna Classic J6 @ Thompsonville
D1 @ Dongola J8-13 Chester Invitational Tournament
D2 @ Christopher J19 Carrier Mills
D5 @ Joppa Maple Grove J23 Marion Agape Christian
D8 @ Mounds Meridian J27 Pinckneyville Showcase
D9 Anna-Jonesboro J30 Vienna
D12 Wolf Lake Shawnee F2 @ Ulin Century
D15 Elkville Elverado F9 Tamms Egyptian
D18 @ Goreville F13 @ Marion Crab Orchard
D26-29 Sesser-Valier Holiday Tournament F20-24 IHSA Regional TBD