FAIRFIELD
BY JACK BULLOCK
Last season was a bit of an oddity in the Land of the Mule.

Stubbornly the Fairfield basketball program relinquished the Black Diamond Conference boy's basketball title, something that they had own or shared nearly every season since head coach Scott McElravy arrived at the school 12 years ago.

Opening the campaign in uncharacteristic fashion (0-5) the Mules never really recovered and finished at 12-16, and 6-4 in the East Division.

“The conference will be improved this year top to bottom. Eldorado has a lot of returning players. So they should feel like it is their year too. Lot of parity. We are definitely improved from a year ago,” said Coach McElravy, a Cumberland High School grad who begins season number 12 at the Mule Barn. “We started the year 0-5 with some injuries and tough Capital Classic schedule. We then finished the rest of the season playing slightly above .500 basketball (12-11). We Lost to Carmi-White County in the regional semifinals. First year where we didn't at least have a share of the conference championship.”

However don't expect this trend to continue as the coach and program should respond with a good season in 2016-17.

Despite graduation loses to three seniors; Colton Land, Sky Kollak and Wyatt Troyer. Fairfield should be raring to go at the Capital Classic the day after Thanksgiving.

Coach M has some returning experience with bookend starters Macklin Snyder, a 5-foot-11 senior guard, and 5-foot-11 classmate Brant McGill.

Six-foot-three junior Jayden Lewis is part of the team after being out last year.

Add the names Caleb Smothers, a 5-foot-8 senior guard, along with 5-foot-10 junior Jamon Vaughan.

Fairfield will also have the services of junior Andrew Stewart, a 5-foot-10 guard, 6-foot-3 junior post man Kobi Dagg, 6-foot-3 sophomore forward Derek Estes and 6-foot-4 sophomore forward Brian Estes.

Coach McElravy mention senior guard Gage McGaha as also eligible for PT.

“Snyder and McGill have been starters for the last couple of years. We should have some very good senior leadership out of our four seniors,” added Coach McElravy. “We definitely have more size than from a year ago to go along with some good shooters. I really like some of our younger classes coming up as well. We should create some good competition for spots. Our conference should be pretty competitive this year. Nearly any team can beat the other any given night.”
2017-18 VARSITY SCHEDULE
N24-25 Lawrence County Capital Classic J12 @ Carmi-White County

D1

Cisne J15-20 Carmi-White County Invitational
D5 @ Johnston City J26 Johnston City
D8 Eldorado J30 Wayne City
D9 @ Olney Richland F2 @ Eldorado
D12 McLeansboro Hamilton County F6 @ McLeansboro Hamilton County
D15 @ Albion Edwards County F9 Albion Edwards County
D19 Lawrenceville F13 @ Flora
D26-28 Eldorado Holiday Tournament F16 Carmi-White County
J6 Bridgeport Red Hill F19-23 IHSA Regional TBD