The Waterloo High School boys basketball program had a rollercoaster season in 2018-2019. Just 10 games in, Bryan Setz was replaced by Brian Lutz, who finished the year as interim head coach.
The Pirates went 5-18 and finished 3-7 (in fifth place) in the Capitol South Conference, and after the season were left searching for their next head coach.
Waterloo hired Trevor Deppe, a 2010 WHS graduate, who hopes to bring not only stability but return the Pirates to a winning program for the first time in a decade.
“I want to build a culture, from the senior class all they way down to fourth grade when kids start playing basketball,” said Deppe, who the past two seasons coached the JV2 team. “I’m trying to get kids excited about playing basketball while enjoying the sport. I’m hoping that will start turning into improvement and eventually wins.”
Deppe will need to replace the top two scorers from last season as Aaron Brey and Spencer Noel graduated. Brey, who averaged 16.8 ppg (third in the Cap. South) earned honorable mention honors, while Noel averaged 12.2.
Returning to lead the 2019-2020 Pirates are seniors E.J. Jiles (6-1 forward) and Chase Bostwick (6-0 guard). Jiles led the Capitol South with 9.4 rebounds per game while averaging 10.8 ppg, while Bostwick also averaged 10.8 ppg.
Senior Jacob Filter (5-11 forward) also returns, while headlining the junior class are Blake Huebner (6-2 forward) and Elisha Strnad (6-5 forward).
The roster also includes seniors Jacob Shaver (5-10 guard) and Matt Weihert (6-0 guard); juniors Jackson Christenson (6-0 guard), Caleb Hager (6-2 forward) and Brody Tschanz (6-3 guard); and sophomores Eugene Wolff 6-1 guard) and Antonio Unzuela (5-10 guard).
Defending Division 4 state champion New Glarus again looks to be the team to beat in the Capitol South race, while Wisconsin Heights and Marshall return key players after finishing second and third behind the Glarner Knights.
Waterloo will play Palmyra-Eagle in its home opener on Monday, Dec. 2. The non-conference tipoff is 7:30 p.m.
2019-20 WATERLOO BOYS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
(Home games in CAPS)
Tues., Nov. 26 Pardeeville, 7:15 p.m.
Mon., Dec. 2 PAL.-EAGLE, 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., Dec. 5 DODGELAND, 7:30 p.m.
Mon., Dec. 9 Deerfield, 7:15 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 3 Fall River, 7:30 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 7 COLUMBUS, 7:30 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 13 PARKVIEW, 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., Jan. 16 CAMBRIDGE, 7:30 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 21 MARSHALL, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 24 Wis Heights, 7:30 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 27 J. CREEK, 7:30 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 28 Green Lake/Prince., 7 p.m.
Thurs., Jan. 30 New Glarus, 7:30 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 4 BELLEVILLE, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 7 Cambridge, 7:30 p.m.
Mon., Feb. 10 Horicon, 7:15 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 13 Marshall, 7:30 p.m.
Mon., Feb. 17 Markesan, 7:15 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 18 WIS. HEIGHTS, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 21 NEW GLARUS, 7:30 p.m.
Mon., Feb. 24 Rio, 7:15 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 27 Belleville, 7:30 p.m.