SPRINGER — Last season, the Fox Foxes were a squad made up of a majority of underclassmen who were simply looking to constantly improve.

SPRINGER — Last season, the Fox Foxes were a squad made up of a majority of underclassmen who were simply looking to constantly improve.

The process eventually led to the Foxes running the gauntlet through the Regional Consolation bracket, giving them their first area tournament berth since 2014.

Fast forward a few months, and those underclassmen are now juniors and seniors.

It’s a scenario that has veteran head coach Erik Yeiser very hopeful for this season, and expecting great things out of his team.

“These kids know basketball so that’s never been a problem,” Yeiser said. “Our biggest thing over the summer has been physical maturation and development. Last year it was a case of the further we got into the playoffs, the more physical caliber of team we were facing and we just couldn’t compete with those teams. Literally this summer and offseason has been about getting stronger.”

Fox’s quest for improvement on physical strength during the offseason has taken them to Okarche near Oklahoma City, along with a trip to the Kiowa team camp. Fox finished off its summer schedule with a mini summer session this past Thursday against Wapanucka, Mill Creek, and South Central Conference rival Springer inside Walker Gymnasium at Springer High School.

The Foxes will be made up of eight juniors this season who return from a squad which won more than 20 games last season, including twin brothers David and Drew Martin.

Both David and Drew were the top-two scorers for the Foxes last season, and they will be joined by senior Jimmy Bivings, who was the third leading scorer last year for Fox.

Also coming back will be Jacob Dart, Preston Shepherd, and John Whitbey.

“When you get to the area tournament starting four sophomores and a junior, as a coach you love it,” Yeiser said. “Area last year was all about experience for us. We got to feel what the atmosphere was like there and we know what to expect from it. Every year though we all go to the state tournament, so these kids know what being in the big house is like. They want to be playing there now instead of just watching. Hopefully we can make it happen this year.” 

The Foxes have won at least 10 or more games each of the last five seasons including this past campaign, which was the highest win total in that span for the program.