After a 3-0 start to the 2021 season, East Clinton lost six of its last eight games.
That finish left the Astros, 5-6 overall with a playoff loss to Roger Bacon, in a bad mood as the offseason unfolded.
Head coach Steve Olds will have a mighty young squad coming back, one that is ready to turn things around.
Olds, in his fourth year with the Astros, will be assisted by Bryan Floyd, Nick Anderson, Adam Boysel and Daniel Day at the high school, and TJ Howard and Jayson Edison at the junior high level.
There are 11 returning letterwinners, but only five returning starters. The list of spring graduates includes Jared Smith, Mitchell Bean, Brody Fisher, Landon Runyon, Jaden Singleton and Chris Norman. Smith was a two-time first team All-SBAAC player.
Isaiah Conger and Adran Baker are the only two seniors on the team. Conger has been highly decorated over the years, starting since he was a freshman.
“This team is unique in that we only have two seniors returning,” said Olds. “As such, both Isaiah and Adran will be expected to take on more of a leadership role this year but we expect a couple of underclassmen to step up as well.”
Glenn Peacock and Denver Day are returning juniors for East Clinton.
Dameon Williams, a transfer from Blanchester, is one of the young newcomers who will play a key role in the East Clinton fortunes in 2022. Landen Dunn is another newcomer of note, Olds said.
“I love this group’s energy and passion,” the coach said. “We are young and a bit unproven, so we have several guys that are stepping into starting roles for the first time and it is exciting to see them grow and get better everyday.”
While there are technical parts of the game the young Astros must improve on, Olds said practice reps and game experience are the two most critical areas the team must confront.
“This is the youngest team we have had so they will need to grow up fast,” said Olds. “If they can do that and focus on getting better everyday, then we believe that we can compete with anyone on our schedule. We will have a lot of new faces carrying the torch this year but our goals remain the same. Advance the program, earn respect and have a winning season.
“We are really excited about this group of guys. We are certainly young but they want to get better and they are a fun group to coach. We are looking forward to seeing their growth between now and the end of the season.”