By DAVID VANTRESS
THE GOSHEN NEWS
As NLC foe Warsaw prepares for the Class 4A regional tournament this weekend, the Goshen Redskins say goodbye to the 2012-13 season and look to an offseason with both challenges and opportunities.
The Redskins finished 14-8 in 2012-13 — their highest win total since going 15-7 in 2002-03. They knocked off Elkhart Memorial, 44-42 in the Class 4A Elkhart Sectional quarterfinals before falling to Northridge, 62-46 in the sectional semifinals.
And as Goshen coach Brian Bechtel closes the books on this season, he sees much to be optimistic about for next season and the near future.
The Redskins will say goodbye to four seniors: Sam Stegelmann, Jesse Good, Austin Henke and Cristian Barron.
Together, the quartet accounted for 40.45 ppg for Goshen (the Redskins averaged 52.8 ppg. in 2012-13). Stegelmann led the way with 14.5 ppg., followed by Good at 9.32 ppg.; Henke at 5.82 ppg.; and Barron at 0.81 ppg.
That’s a lot of points for the Redskins to replace.
But despite the loss of a good crop of seniors, there is a good core back for Goshen next year. Two starters will be back: Freshman point guard Brady Bechtel, who averaged 6.91 ppg. to go with 2.7 apg. and 1.9 rpg., and saw the second-most action on the team with 589 minutes.
Most of those minutes as Bechtel, son of the head coach, played through torn meniscus in a knee. Bechtel had surgery to repair the injury in South Bend earlier this week and, after a 4-6-week rehab, will begin working out again, Coach Bechtel said.
Brady Bechtel will be expected to score more in addition to running the Redskin offense.
Also back will be sophomore forward Austin Woolett, who appeared in 21 games and started 17 for the Redskins in 2012-13. Woolett, at 6-5, was an impact player inside for Goshen this season, averaging 5.3 ppg. and 4-95 rpg.
Other key players expected back include 6-3 junior guard/forward Deric Haynes; 6-2 forward Alex Hartsough; 6-7 junior forward Trevor Weldy; and 6-0 sophomore guard Jack Gingerich.
Sophomore guard Isaac Huerta, at 5-6, is also expected back next season after missing most of this season with a torn ACL.
Key for the Redskins in the offseason, Bechtel said, will be hitting the weights.
And not just during weight training classes, Bechtel added.
“We need to rebound better and get stronger,” Bechtel said. “That’s going to come from guys hitting the weights on their own time in the offseason.”