The Galatia Bearcats head into 2016-17 with a new coach who is very familiar with the program.
Rod Wallace, the head coach of the program from 1998-207, returns to the sidelines for Galatia.
He inherits a 9-15 club that lost early in the regional last season to the host Trojans at the Crab Orchard Regional.
Coach Wallace will look for six seniors to carry the load for the Bearcats heading into the campaign.
Five-foot-ten point guard Luke Lawrence is back along with shooting guard Devyn Verbeck.
Coach Wallace added 5-foot-8 Kody Matthews to the list as another guard.
Up front is 6-foot-4 forward Shad Mattingly, who represents the only real size of the seniors returning.
Other guards in play include 5-foot-10 Hunter Talandis and 5-foot-8 Bronson Stanley.
Those six are the beginning for the season for Galatia as they tackle a new tournament this season, opening at the Vienna “The Classic” the first week of the season.
The underclassmen may push the seniors for playing time.
Six-foot-six junior center Austin Prichett will give the club some much needed size in the lane as will forwards Will Pulliam and Ben Mitchell, both of whom are 6-foot-3 juniors.
Six-foot guard Austin Stevens and two 6-foot forwards; Garrett Beers and Noah Triplett, also made the grade as well as 5-foot-9 junior Joel Glenn.
Coach Wallace mentioned two sophomores and three freshmen who might end up with varsity playing time.
The sophomores are 6-foot Alan Marvel and 5-foot-10 Cameron Triplett.
The freshman are 5-foot-10 A.J. Hankins, 5-foot-8 Braxton Lane and 5-foot-7 Noah Miller.
The way this coach likes to see the ball go up and down the floor, he will need lots of players ready to go.
“It appears that Gallatin County, Crab Orchard, and Norris City should all be pretty good this year but I'm not sure on the rest of the GEC teams,” said Coach Wallace, who recently coached the women's team at Southeastern Illinois College at Harrisburg (2008-11). “This is one of the biggest lineups I have seen at Galatia. This team is a very well rounded team with some talent. We have about 10 kids who will see the floor on any given night.”
N20-25 Vienna "Turkey Classic" J9 Elizabethtown Hardin County


Junction Gallatin County J12 Marion Crab Orchard
D5 @ Golconda Pope County J16 Elverado
D8 @ Marion Crab Orchard J19 Golconda Pope County
D12 Norris City-Omaha-Enfield J22-27 GEC Tournament @ SIC
D19 Joppa Maple Grove J30 @ Norris City-Omaha-Enfield
D22 @ Johnston City F9 @ Zeigler-Royalton
D26-29 Sesser-Valier Holiday Tournament F13 Thompsonville
J2 @ Thompsonville F16 Carrier Mills-Stonefort
J5 @ Marion (IL.) Agape Christian F19-23 IHSA Regional TBD