Last season finish: 12-9, 8-6 DAC. Lost in first round of Class 4A Michigan City Sectional to Merrillville
Inside the Vikings
Leading returning scorer: John Mosser, 10.8 ppg.
Leading returning rebounder: John Mosser, 6.1 rpg.
Star power: John Mosser, Sr., F/C. Thanks to a high-protein diet and intense workouts, the Vikings' top player added 25 pounds of muscle. He's now 190 pounds. "I was pushing for 200 by the start of the year," Mosser said. "Now I know why the big boys dominate. It makes the game come easier. I feel like I'm playing stronger."
Newcomer to watch: Justin Osburn, So., G. Osburn will back up Bret Boetel at point guard. "He can light it up," Otis said. "He worked as hard as anyone in the summer to make himself stronger and quicker, which was absolutely necessary. He's a hard-nosed kid. He broke a tooth in practice and hardly flinched. He's fun to watch."
Vikings trending upward
The most inexperienced team in school history put up 12 wins last season and six regulars return from that group in John Mosser, Bret Boetel, Brody Wilson, Zach Meyer, Quentin Palmer and Tyler Doane. "Expectations are high," Otis said. "But there were a lot of good young teams in the conference." Mosser is poised to break out, but doesn't have to carry the team. "We don't need to rely on one kid and I don't think we will," Otis said. "We've got six, seven kids who can shoot the ball. We don't have any marquee players, but I think we're unselfish. Team chemistry is really good." Otis' concerns are with the team's physicality, which is compounded by the absence of Andrew Kittridge, who isn't playing to concentrate on hurdling for college, and defense, an uncharacteristic weakness last season. "That's been a real point of emphasis," Otis said. "We're not going to be the kind of team to come out and chase you all over the place, but I think we can be really solid in the halfcourt and do the little things well." !~ Jim Peters