- Jodie Wagner Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
There is no post-Trent Frazier era at Wellington.
Though the Wolverines will tip off the 2017-18 boys basketball season this week without the two-time Palm Beach Post Player of the Year in the lineup, little has changed as far as preparation and perspective.
“Nothing is different,” longtime head coach Matt Colin said. “Our team is prepared to play as hard as we did last year.”
Wellington was hit hard by graduation, losing the bulk of its starting lineup from a team that finished 27-4 last season and advanced to the Class 9A state semifinals.
Frazier — a four-star recruit — is at Illinois, while guard Sage Chen-Young and forwards Miguel Peart and Anfernee Rosario also have moved on.
In their place is a talented group of returning players and newcomers led by senior guards Bryan Williams and Nico Toledo, senior forward Jonathan Philistin and junior wing Linton Brown.
Williams, in particular, is expected to have a breakout year after averaging 23 points during the summer season. He helped led Wellington to a 30-3 record in summer play.
“We are playing great as a team,” Colin said. “We’re very unselfish, showed toughness, and defensively we were really good. We also played well against some high-level teams throughout the summer.”
Colin hopes to carry that momentum into the regular season, and expectations are high.
The Wolverines, who have won four consecutive district championships and advanced to the state semifinals in two of the past three seasons, expect to challenge in a tough district and region.
Colin expects Palm Beach Gardens to be championship contender in District 9-9A, while region 3 features numerous strong teams from inside and out of the area, including Atlantic, Lake Worth, Santaluces, Boca Raton, and Coral Springs.
The Wolverines defeated the Trojans and Colts last year on the way to earning a berth in the state semifinals, but fell to Kissimmee-Osceola 52-50 in a game marred by controversy after the wrong Kowboys player was allowed to shoot a pair of free throws.
Colin said his Wolverines have put that disappointment behind them.
“Our players are mentally tough enough to have overcome the unfairness of what took place at state,” Colin said. “We’re focused on this season and being the best team we can be.”