By Jordan Burton (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Brian McTague is entering his eighth season at Glendale and the Falcons have been over .500 in all seven prior seasons.
Coming off a 16-11 run in 2019-20 – which ended with a 59-53 district championship loss to Ozark – Glendale returns just three total letterwinners, two of which are starters.
On the surface it looks like a rebuilding year, but these are situations that McTague has grown accustomed to and Glendale returns enough talent to again be competitive in the Ozarks.
Carter Harrell returns after averaging 18.3 points and 4.1 rebounds with a 51-43-72 shooting split. The 6-foot-4 wing is one of the best 2022 prospects in the Ozarks and he’s only getting better.
“Carter has gotten stronger and continues to improve in all areas,” said McTague.
Senior guard Jack Clinkenbeard also returns after earning All-OC Defensive Team honors. He also averaged 4.6 points for the Falcons. McTeague believes he will be one of the top on-ball defenders in the area. He’s also the roster’s lone senior.
Junior Aaron Ledgerwood is a 6-foot-9 center that averaged six points and 4.7 rebounds last year. He figures to be one of the league’s top interior players.
This year’s crop of newcomers will bring size and length to the roster.
Juniors Logan Frahm (6-foot-6), Grant Givens (6-foot-5) and Kole Eden (6-foot-4) are all combo forwards. Classmate Alex Spence is a 6-foot-1 guard that will provide backcourt depth.
A pair of underclassmen could also figure into the equation in 6-foot-6 sophomore Owen Padgitt and 5-foot-11 freshman Aslan Ebisch. Padgitt will be another big body for the Falcons and Ebisch will settle into some point guard reps.
As always, Glendale’s schedule isn’t for the faint of heart, which will include another loaded Ozark Conference slate, the Blue & Gold and what should be a tough district assignment. They lack experience, but McTague is excited about the potential of this group.
“It should be a pretty strong year in the conference with most of the top players from last year returning,” said McTague. “You have to be prepared to fight every night. We have to buy into playing a certain way on both ends and use our physicality. We have to play to our strengths that will make us tough to play against. If we play unselfish and only care about winning, we will have a great year.”
Glendale will open the 2020-21 season on Dec. 3 at the Republic Tournament.