Johnston City mentor Jerry Hampleman saw his club go 6-20 last season as the rebuilding continues in Williamson County for an Indians' program that lost early to Eldorado in the post-season.
Coach Hampleman is a southern Illinois native (Sesser-Valier Class of 1989) and he knows the importance of hard work to get the kids going in the right direction.
After going just 2-22 the season before, four additional wins is a move forward for the Indians' program.
The best of news for this coach and staff is that there are plenty of players wanting in on the rebuilding fun as Johnston City will head into the season with several players back.
Leading the way is EJ Thompson, a 6-foot-2 senior forward, who gain all-conference honors in the Black Diamond last year.
Coach Hampleman has five other seniors ready to take on the 2016-17 season.
Six-foot-six senior Max Edwards is a space eater in the paint that will make things difficult for teams trying to score offensively.
Gage Hall, a 6-foot senior, also returns as does 6-foot-1 Wyatt Rix.
Five-foot-eight senior Caleb Holtzclaw and 5-foot-10 senior Hunter Peek round out an experience group.
Hall and Thompson could both reach 1,000-points by season's end.
A pair of juinors could be ready to help; 6-foot-3 Luca Galdoni and 6-foot Matt West.
Sophomores include Chase Selby and Houston Hall, both of whom stand 5-foot-9.
“We are primary a senior laden team. Four out five starters are back from last season, plus numerous underclassmen who had seen ample varsity minutes. With the six returning seniors and the help from the juniors and sophomores this will be deepest bench I've had since becoming the coach,” said Coach Hampleman, who enters his third season in charge. “The team has worked hard in the weight room and the gym over the summer. I see more focus to fundamentals and skill level improvement. The coaching staff and the players are excited about this season.”
N27-D2 Goreville Invitational Tournament J16-21 Egyptian Invitational Tournament


Fairfield J26 @ Fairfield
D8 Carmi-White County J27 Wayne City
D12 @ Sesser-Valier J30 @ Zeigler-Royalton
D15 @ Eldorado F2 @ Carmi-White County
D22 Galatia F3 Elizabethtown Hardin County
D26-29 Sesser-Valier Holiday Tournament F6 Albion Edwards County
J5 @ Albion Edwards County F9 Eldorado
J9 @ Webber Township F16 McLeansboro Hamilton County
J12 @ McLeansboro Hamilton County F19-23 IHSA Regional TBD