EHS BOYS BASKETBALL: League’s Most Valuable Player returns to Hornet basketball court

At first glimpse, it might appear as though the Enumclaw High boys will return to the Class 3A state basketball tournament if they simply live up to preseason expectations.

However, expectations don’t always pan out, as EHS discovered at last year’s state tournament. It was in the Tacoma Dome that the 22-2 Hornets were eliminated by red-hot squads from Franklin High and Meadowdale. It was learned that the most dangerous foe facing Enumclaw was Enumclaw itself.

Expectations are once again sky high, as Enumclaw will most likely return an all-senior starting line-up that includes last year’s South Puget Sound League 3A Most Valuable Player Riley Carel.

At the other guard spot is Taylor Myers who, when he has the hot hand, can be nearly unstoppable. Also at the guard spot is senior bombardier Coleman Clyde, who is not afraid to tickle the twine with a 3-pointer now and again.

At forward, Jayson Lewis and Ben Waters, also a senior, are both deadeye shooters from beyond the arc and are equally adept when it comes to dribbling through the key, often scoring as well as drawing fouls.

At the post position is Tarren “The Train” Van Trojen who, at 6 feet, 6 inches and a solid 260 pounds, is a formidable rebounder.

VanTrojen, a putback artist offensively and Mr. Windex on the defensive end, has drawn attention from the community college ranks, should he choose to go that route.

The Hornets are also loaded when it comes to skilled auxiliary players who can be plugged into just about any position. Included in the group are juniors D.J. Hitch and Dylan Fitzpatrick and senior Anthony Goch.

“I feel as if the league is going to be even tougher than it was last year, when we went 13-1 and won the crown,” coach Phil Engebretsen said. He sees the biggest threats being Clover Park, Lakes and Franklin Pierce. Clover Park was the only league team to knock off the Hornets a season ago.

“It isn’t going to be an easy path back to the postseason, but we’ve got 10 seniors working very hard in practice because they aren’t going to take anything for granted,” Engebretsen said. “They aren’t going to put a lot of pressure on themselves and just want to enjoy the journey in their last year of high school ball and have some fun along the way. If we win a lot of games, as I’ve heard people expect us to, that’s good, too.”

The Hornets’ initial league outing will come at 7 p.m. Friday when they travel to Bonney Lake High.