PITSBURG – The 2017-18 Franklin Monroe Jets are looking to build off a 16-7 record in 2016-17 and a second place finish in the 13-team Cross Country Conference.
Franklin Monroe is an experienced team that has a deep roster and returns six letter winners, five seniors and one junior.
Kyle Ressler, a 5-foot 11-inch senior guard, was a special mention in the league last year. Ressler has the ability to drive to the basket or knock down the open shot.
Bryce Filbrun, a 5-foot 11-inch senior guard, is smooth on the move, and the left-hander can keep opposing teams honest on the open shot.
Zach Cable, a 6-foot 1-inch senior guard/forward, is a physical player and can help in a number of spots.
Cole McGlinch, a 6-foot senior forward, is not afraid of contact and will look to mix it up inside.
Parker Hesler, a 6-foot senior, is a 3-point threat opposing teams won’t want to leave open.
Ethan Conley, a 6-foot 3-inch junior, will be the focus of most teams on defense. Conley can shoot it from the outside, post up on the inside or beat opponents off the dribble … he has the complete package.
Rounding out the varsity roster are two seniors – 6-foot 2-inch Bryce Robison and 6-foot 1-inch Matthew Williams – along with juniors Gage Vance and Connor Crist.
Franklin Monroe isn’t looking for a storybook-fairy tale season … the Jets have worked hard in the offseason so they can go out and earn those rewards.
“Our team’s story this season will be a direct result of how well we own our world each day,” Franklin Monroe boys basketball coach Troy Myers said. “Getting better is a tedious process, and only the ones tough enough to own it every day can endure it. Our returning guys have done a tremendous job holding everyone accountable and setting the standard for how each day should be approached.
“Of course, right now everyone is anticipating game night, but we go as far back as June when a mentality was established for this particular team. Guys in all grades and our staff have been intentional about leading themselves first, which allows teammates to respect them. When those around you respect you the sense of unity becomes a lot stronger. That’s what I see happening right now,” Myers said.
“Our schedule will test us early and give us a great chance to evaluate where we are personally and as a team, which I love,” Myers added.
That includes playing in the prestigious Flyin’ to the Hoop basketball tournament at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 15 in which FM will take on Minster from the Midwest Athletic Conference.
Franklin Monroe also will host Versailles out of the MAC on Jan. 6.
The Jets will celebrate Homecoming on Dec. 15 and square off with the reigning CCC champion Bethel. They will close the regular season on Feb. 16 with senior night versus Miami East.
“Everything looks great until you are challenged and your training is exposed,” Myers said. “Thankfully we have a group right now that has been sincere in the way they train and get better. Now we have to find out how sincere we are on the bounce back and evaluation post performance. We all look forward to showcasing the work, but it’s so much deeper than most realize, and I am grateful for a group that wants to absorb and understand that. Doing the right thing right constantly is hard, but it’s the very same thing that helps make winning sustainable.
“Bethel is the target in our league with a plethora of talented guards and the player of the year returning for a team that were conference champions a year ago. They are very well coached and demand you play with great execution and toughness. Many of the teams in our league will be much improved from a year ago and certainly all of them will have our attention,” Myers concluded.