Members of the Massac County High School Patriots basketball team for 2021-22 are (kneeling) Walt Windhorst; from left, (seated) Reed McCuan, assistant coach Kyle Reinwald, assistant coach Kerry Bowman, assistant coach Isaiah Hart, head coach Joe Hosman, assistant coach Parker Windhorst, assistant coach Chad Brown, Max Bremer; (standing) Andy Girot, Noah Melcher, Isaac Hosman, Jackson Lee, Reid Martin, Brady Cissell, Ian Higgerson, Hunter Box, Tyrus Riley, Will Harmon, Luke Maurer, Kris Garnett and Brody Smallman.

Facing what we all hope will be a “normal” year, it’s hard to miss the excitement surrounding this year’s Massac County Patriots.

At this year’s “Meet the Patriots” event, a large crowd saw two evenly matched teams provide some high energy entertainment.

Coach Joe Hosman is never one to “over-hype” his teams, but it was hard for him to hide the smiles after the exhibition.

He has reason to smile.

Son Isaac Hosman is back for his second campaign and a better “distributor” is not to be found around here.

Hosman also has a pair of potent shooters waiting in sophomore Will Harmon and junior Brody Smallman. Smallman is also a hard-nosed defender who “gets his money’s worth.” Junior Brady Cissell has developed into a force around the bucket, and a renovated Ian Higgerson has a chance to become a potent player in the paint.

Spare parts? Hosman has a big tool box full of them. Speedy senior guard Reed McCuan, wing man Reid Martin, Hunter Box, Jackson Lee and Luke Maurer all return from last year with some varsity experience.

To that end, Hosman said he expects to end up with a seven- or eight-man rotation, which will heighten the competition for playing time, which can’t help but strengthen the team.

One big X-factor for this year’s version is “The Beast.” Senior Max Bremer made his debut at the introduction event and instantly became a crowd favorite. Bremer just concluded a great senior season on the gridiron and with some cajoling from Hosman and staff, laced up his sneakers. It’ll take a while, but Bremer will add some excitement to an already electric bunch.

Get your tickets early, it’s gonna be a fun year.

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