The Eagle men are scheduled to hit the court for their first regular season game on Tuesday, November 14 at 6:30 PM. The Eagles opening test will be against Union College (Lincoln, NE), a team whom the Eagles defeated during the regular season last year. The game will be an early test for an almost completely new roster for this year's young Eagle team.
The Eagles face a tall task, replacing ACCA All American guard Jon Luke Talton and All Region / All Conference players Ryan Kupferschmid and Jason Scheps. Overall, the Eagles will have to replace 86% of their total offense from a year ago.
Anchoring the Eagles will be sophomore post Tanner Van Beek. Tanner joined the Eagles at the start of the second semester during the 2016-2017 season and had an immediate impact. At 6'6" and 215 lbs. Van Beek gives the Eagles a solid inside presence. "Tanner has worked very hard in the off season to improve his conditioning and overall play. Most importantly, he is solid young man who provides great leadership to the team. I'm excited for him and the opportunity he has to expand his role on both ends of the court," noted head coach Brian Fincham. In addition to Van Beek, the Eagles return Joey Young, Caleb Brace, and Caleb Sturgis. All three are part of the men's soccer program and will be joining the team once their soccer season is complete. Young will serve alongside Van Beek as team captain and provides a solid leader on the defensive end that the team can rally around. "In the couple times that Joey has been able to practice he has looked very good. He's more explosive than last year and has played with a lot of confidence," mentioned Fincham. "I'm also looking forward to having Caleb Brace and Caleb Sturgis back. Both men will provide some much needed experience for our young team."
Seven new faces will round out this year's squad. The Eagles added Lorenzo Neville, Sam Pedersen, and Caleb Burkhow at the guard position. Pedersen will primarily run the point for the team, while Neville and Burkhow will see minutes at the shooting guard position. Small forwards include Cole McClintock and Keaton Pearson. Jason Conable will be the Eagles main power forward threat, while Tyler Peterson will back Van Beek up at center. "This group has a lot of potential. They have had great work ethic so far and I expect them to continue to improve over the course of the season. If they maintain that hard work mentality I expect them to be competitive with many of the teams in the conference and region by the time post season play rolls around," said Fincham.
The Eagles jump right into their season next week. After their home opener against Union College, the Eagles will host Trinity Bible College and Association Free Lutheran Bible School as part of the Eagle's annual Faith Classic Tournament.