The Zeigler-Royalton Tornadoes took some lumps in 2016-17, to say the least, but head coach Matt Morgan returns to the sidelines with a new crew ready to work and improve.

Last winter the Tornadoes went just 4-21 overall, 0-12 in the league and their JV team didn't do much in the way of wins as they finished 1-16.

The bad news is that all five regulars from the club that lost in the first round of the regional at Crab Orchard have left the building, including top scorer Brenden Whiting.

Nolan Domineck, Tyson Kretz and Cameron Newton also bid farewell after the school year ended.

Coach Morgan will return some kids that did see the floor a year ago in the hopes of being much more competitive.

Six-foot junior Bryce Leeper and classmate 6-foot-1 Cole Sanders saw some varsity minutes last season and they will like start the season on the floor when the lineups are announced.

Sophomore guard 5-foot-8 Jakob Imhoff and 5-foot-8 sophomore David Eldridge will also be part of the Tornadoes this season after spending most of their time on the JV last season.

The junior high boy's team won 18-games last season as eighth graders so there is some talent in the now freshman class to work with.
Coach Morgan mentioned freshmen Trevor Mills, Landen Bate and Gannon Dollins.

Dollins is a 6-foot-5 player whose height will be a welcomed sight.

Bate is a 5-foot-6 guard while Mills stands 5-foot-8.

Two weeks of tryouts will determine the rest of the roster and who gets a uniform.

“Our inexperience and youth will be a struggle early on, but how we respond to adversity and any challenges that we face will dictate the rest of the season and our future moving forward,” said Coach Morgan. “While we lack experience, I will say that I am very excited about this group that we have. They came in and worked extremely hard this summer and off-season. In addition to that, we have some freshman that really had a good summer and will be expected to step up and fill some of the minutes that we lost from last years senior group. We are going to nine to ten deep.”

OUTLOOK – Coach Morgan, who had a health scare in the fall, has done a lot for this program. The kids will continue to play hard and work towards the future.



Christopher Turkey Tournament J16 @ Chester
D1 Webber Township J23 Waltonville
D5 Goreville J30 Johnston City
D8 Vienna F2 @ Sesser-Valier
D26-29 Sesser-Valier Holiday Tournament F3 @ Campbell Hill Trico
J2 Chester F6 @ Goreville
J4 @ Elkville Elverado F9 Galatia
J9 Christopher F13 Campbell Hill Trico
J12 Sesser-Valier F16 @ Christopher
J13 @ Vienna F19-23 IHSA Regional TBD