This team of boys is made up of 7th and 8th graders from Zion Lutheran School in Marengo.

Our season was filled with many great accomplishments: Undefeated Regular Season Undefeated Conference Record and Championship Immanuel Lutheran Tournament Champions Concord Classic Invitational Champions Christ Lutheran Peoria 3rd place finish St Peter Arlington Heights Saints Shootout 2nd Place Finish Illinois State Championship 3rd Place Finish

As a result of such a great season, the Zion Boys have earned an invitation to the Lutheran Basketball Association of America's National Championship being held at Valparaiso University March 22-25. Only 32 teams from throughout the country are rewarded with an invitation, and Zion is proud to accept one of only three invitations to teams in Illinois. Throughout the season each and every player has contributed to the team's success. Along the way, a couple of our players have earned individual accolades as well. 8th Graders Evan Shepard and Matthew Volkening were both selected to the Christ Lutheran All Tournament Team, Saints Shootout All Tournament Team and the Illinois State All Tournament Team. Both would agree that without the support and hard work of their teammates, these individual awards would not be possible. 8th Grader Preston Bailey is the other returning starter from last year's team and leads both vocally and with his hard work and determination and does so many things that go unnoticed in the box score. Liam Keller (8th Grade) and Patrick Signore (7th Grade) round out the starting lineup for the Panthers of Zion. 6th man Nate Cieslak also played key minutes throughout the season. Others coming off the bench for Zion are Isaiah Taylor (8), Jericho Tynis (7), Mike Ashbaugh (8), Bryden Steele (8) and Brian Scholl (7).

As a coach, I could be not more proud of these guys. As deserving as they are for their success on the court, it is even more special to see such great young men work hard towards a common goal...and achieve it. This is a group of young men whose parents, church, school and entire community should be proud of...I know I am!

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