WAYNE CITY
BY JACK BULLOCK
The 2016-17 Wayne City Indians had a great season but an unexpected premature ending.

Having the garnered the top-seed in their sub-sectional and hosting the regional on their own floor, the Indians were set for a potential long postseason journey to perhaps their first ever sectional title.

They were that good.

Wayne City went 20-7, were 8-1 in the conference and they won the Christopher Thanksgiving Tournament, finished second in their own holiday tournament and had just beaten Woodlawn, the eventual sectional winner, 48-29 late in the regular season.

But an omen of the Indians losing close games was there for most of the season.
They dropped a 41-40 verdict to Patoka in the title game of their own holiday tournament and on the same floor they lost to Christ Our Rock Lutheran, 37-36, in the semifinals of the league tournament.

When they walked off the floor dejected after a regional semifinal loss to Webber Township, it was disappointing to everyone involved.

Fast forward to this season as the Indians have a new head coach who is familiar with the area and the team.

Coach Jeff Morris was the junior high head coach at Fairfield the past four years.

Last season Coach Morris led the Colts to the SIJHA state title in Class M.

He will have work to do with eight seniors and four starters missing from last season, including ABV all-south special mention picks Chad Dickey and Eric Green.

But the best of the news is that there is some talent coming along and

The one returning starter is a good one to build around.

Jaxon King, a 6-foot senior, is back and some of the burden of the scoring missing from last season will be picked up by this vet.

A transfer from Overton High School in Memphis (TN.) will also be in the lineup.

Jayzale O'Neal, a 5-foot-10 junior, comes into the program and will share some of the backcourt duties.

Coach Morris believes he will be one of the top players in the area in 1A.

Six-foot-three senior Remmington Henson had some experience last season and will be in the frontcourt.

Travis Dickey, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, is inexperience but talented.

Dane Horton, a 6-foot-1 junior, 6-foot-1 junior Dalton Smith, 5-foot-8 junior Nate Barbee and senior foreign exchange student Enrico Carbonetti will all participate in varsity games.

Others on the roster worth mentioning are 5-foot-10 senior Michael Barnard, 5-foot-10 junior Cole Clark, 5-foot-7 junior Marshall White and 6-foot-3 junior Kyle Sledge.

“We play a pretty strong non conference schedule, which includes Fairfield, Edwards County, Flora and Gallatin County,” said Coach Morris. “The conference favorite is probably Webber Township. We open up at Christopher Turkey Tournament with NCOE.”

OUTLOOK – Although things didn't end well last season, look for a better overall situation this season at Wayne City. This new coach has some talent to work with and they have one of the nicest 1A facilities you will find with the new school still shining like a new penny. They should contend for some tournament titles this season and they won't be an easy team to deal with later on in the year.

2017-18 VARSITY SCHEDULE
N20-25 Christopher Thanksgiving Tournament J26 Albion Edwards County

N28

Centralia Christ Our Rock Lutheran J27 @ Johnston City
D1 @ Grayville J30 @ Fairfield
D5 @ Cisne F2 @ Odin
D9-16 Wayne City Holiday Tournament F3 Flora
D19 @ Norris City-Omaha-Enfield F6 Woodlawn
J5 @ Patoka F9 Sandoval
J9 Junction Gallatin County F13 Louisville North Clay
J15-20 MTC Tournament @ Woodlawn F16 Waltonville
J23 Webber Township F19-23 IHSA Regional TBD