OOLTEWAH, Tenn. (WRCB) -- There was a familiar name atop the one preseason poll at Monday's District 5-AAA prep basketball media day, and some familiar parity in the other.
Bradley Central's girls were tabbed as the preseason favorite to repeat for a fourth straight year by a unanimous vote by both media and coaches. Ooltewah was chosen as the boys' preseason champ, though the Owls were one of five different programs to receive first-place votes.
The Bearettes return a pair of Division I recruits in the post in Brooke Copeland and Rebecca Reuter, though they have a several question marks around them.
"We lost a lot of guards from last year's team, and our starting point guard (Chelsea Sommers) is still recovering from a torn ACL," said Bradley head coach Jason Reuter. "But I don't know if anyone else in this district can compare to Brooke and Rebecca.
"Our goal is just to be the best team at the end of the year."
Cleveland was predicted to finish runner-up in both polls, followed by Walker Valley and McMinn County.
The Owls a few more question marks after graduating four starters. Ben Snider, who enters his fourth year in the Ooltewah lineup, is the only starter back.
"We have a lot of guys who played some minutes last year coming back, but we lose those four key guys," said assistant coach Andre Montgomery. "We have some guys with some skill. We just bring the pressure every day, so we'll do what we do."
The biggest question for Ooltewah may come after this season. Montgomery filled in for head coach Jesse Nayadley at the podium. Nayadley was at an athletic directors' meeting in Knoxville after being named the school's interim AD this fall. He will make a decision after this season if he will continue to coach the varsity program.
Aside from the Owls, East Hamilton, Cleveland, Bradley Central and Walker Valley also received at least two first-place votes in one of the polls. The Hurricanes joined Ooltewah with four first-place votes and were tabbed runner-up in the media poll, but Cleveland was the coaches' pick to finish second.
The high school season tips off next week across the state.
District 5-AAA Preseason Boys Coaches' Poll
1. Ooltewah (3)
2. Cleveland (2)
3. (tie) Walker Valley (2)
3. (tie) Bradley Central
3. (tie) East Hamilton
6. McMinn County
District 5-AAA Preseason Boys Media Poll
1. Ooltewah (4)
2. East Hamilton (4)
3. Walker Valley (2)
5. Bradley Central (2)
6. McMinn County
District 5-AAA Preseason Girls Media and Coaches' Poll
1. Bradley Central (unanimous)
3. Walker Valley
4. McMinn County
5. East Hamilton
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