NASHVILLE
BY JACK BULLOCK
The Hornets are used to making runs in the post-season and last year was no exception.
Coach Brad Weathers saw his team make it all the way to the Pinckneyville 2A Sectional final after taking care of SIRR Mississippi rival Pinckneyville on the Panthers' home floor.
However Nashville was no match for Breese Central in the title game, losing to the Cougars 73-59.
Breese Central went on to get to Peoria while the seniors of Nashville pulled off the basketball uniforms for the final time.
One of the seniors that said goodbye to hoops that night is in the Deep South part of the country playing a whole different sport.
ABV first team 2A all-south choice Royce Newman left via graduation and is now a red-shirt freshman offensive lineman for the University of Mississippi in Oxford.
The 6-foot-7 former Nashville post player is gone and with him a lot of points a rebounds (17 p.p.g., 7.1 r.p.g.).
Other seniors MIA from the cap and gown parade include Brady Bultman and Jaris Dalman.
However this is one of those basketball programs that keeps the talent coming from this end of Washington County.
Nashville shared the league title with Pinckneyville last year and ended up 21-11 overall, 9-1 in the conference.
Coach Weathers (160-59 in seven seasons as head coach at Nashville) has to his credit 551-victories in 30-season coaching at both Carlyle and Nashville.
He will turn to three experienced players returning to begin the season.
Five-foot-eleven senior guard Hayden Heggemeier averaged seven points and four rebounds a game last season and also handed out 1.3 assists a game.
Six-foot-one senior Ryan Brink is a guard/forward averaged 8.6 points a contest while being a threat from the outside. Brink canned 54 3-pointers last season for the Hornets.
Brogan Kemp, a 6-foot-6 forward, added six points and four rebounds as a junior last winter.
After those three, Coach Weathers will have to come up with the right formula out of several athletes available.
Six-foot-four senior Langdon Briles will add some size to the lineup if he starts while Bryce Bultman is a 6-foot-3 sophomore who will likely be called upon to handle the point guard station.
Five-foot-eleven junior Brandon Schnitker and 6-foot-3 junior Cameron Parker were also mentioned along with 5-foot-9 senior guard Trevor Meier and 6-foot-3 freshman Carson Parker.
The rest of the uniforms and minutes will be up to this coach after tryouts.
Nashville is one of those programs that always manages to find the right combination for success.
“We will certainly be a different look w/o Royce in the lineup for the first time in four years and Brady Bultman the last two,” said Coach Weathers. “However, the Hornets do return three players who started or saw extensive playing time last year in Heggemeier, Brink and Kemp. In addition, there will be several players up from last year's underclass teams expected to contribute heavily. Although not nearly as big overall as in recent years, we do have size and strength in the 6-foot-6 Kemp (6-foot-4 Briles also gives some additional length). We should have considerable depth and skill at the guard spots.”
2017-18 VARSITY SCHEDULE
N24-D2 Mascoutah-Wesclin Tournament J12 @ Du Quoin

D8

Anna-Jonesboro J15-20 Nashville Invitational Tournament
D9 @ Waterloo Gibault J26 @ Anna-Jonesboro
D15 @ Sparta J27 Carlyle
D16 Benton F2 Sparta
D20 @ Carterville F3 Benton "Rich Herrin" Classic
D27-30 Breese Mater Dei Holiday Tournament F9 Carterville
J5 Pinckneyville F10 @ Pinckneyville
J6 Okawville F16 Du Quoin
J9 @ Greenville F19-23 IHSA Regional TBD