HARRISBURG
BY JACK BULLOCK
At Harrisburg head coach Randy Smithpeters heads into another season with some talented kids to work with as they will set the usual lofty goals.

This program has been good for a long time and that shouldn't change this season as they return a lot of talent and one player who missed all of last year with an injury.

The Bulldogs (11-18) slumped a bit last season, an anomaly in the high school basketball scene, as injuries and youth “took it on the chin.”

But look for this squad to bounce back with a vengeance this season behind one of the top players in the South.

Isaiah Saulsberry is a 6-foot-3 senior guard who was one of the bright spots on the Bulldogs team last winter.

According to this mentor, Saulsberry has improve his skill and has matured into a much better all-around player.

Five-foot-eleven senior guard Blake Drue missed his entire junior season due to knee injury.

Drue has worked hard over the off season with not only his rehab but on his overall basketball skills.

Coach Smithpeters says “he is one to watch” this season.

Another returning player this season is Jordan Bartok, a 6-foot-2 post player that plays taller than he is.

Most seasons Harrisburg will have some depth and this year they have a lot of kids that are going to see minutes.

Carson Burtis, a 6-foot-3 senior, got into a lot of games a season ago because of all of the injuries and he will play a lot in his final prep season.

The same can be said for Dalton Lambert, a 6-foot-3 senior forward.

He adds another offensive threat to an already skilled lineup.

Coach Smithpeters has yet another senior on the squad that has some size and skill, 6-foot-3 forward Brayden Storms.

He will get more experience this season on the fly as this is a squad that looks like everyone will get in on the fun, especially early on.

The underclassmen will provide some valuable minutes off the bench.

Two juniors; 6-foot Jayden Sigler and 6-foot-3 Will Sanders will get their chances as will two sophomores; 5-foot-9 Will Gibbs and 5-foot-9 Carl Russ.

“This team is more skilled than usual, Great group to work with. Will have to see how they handle adversity. Will be tested with a rugged schedule. Our goal is to improve every game,” said Coach Smithpeters.

OUTLOOK – Look for this team to be much better than last season and ABV will be surprised if Harrisburg doesn't reach 20-wins. They have talent up and down this roster and this coach will get the most out of all of them. The Bulldogs under this coach has won 12 regional titles, six sectional crowns, a pair of supersectional wins and a state championship in 2013. They are one of the few athletic boy's programs that can say they have won state championships in basketball, baseball, football and track & field. They will be a postseason threat come February and they could still be playing in March. They are the one to beat in the SIRR Ohio Division.

2017-18 VARSITY SCHEDULE
N29-D2 Murphysboro "Bozrath Memorial" J15-20 Carmi-White County Invitational
D8 West Frankfort J26 @ West Frankfort
D9 @ Mounds Meridian F2 Metropolis Massac County
D15 @ Metropolis Massac County F3 TBD
D16 @ Du Quoin F9 Benton
D21 @ Benton F10 @ Murphysboro
D26-28 Eldorado Holiday Tournament F13 Carterville
J5 Murphysboro F16 Herrin
J6 @ Marion F19-23 IHSA Regional TBD
J12 @ Herrin F27-M2 IHSA Sectional TBD