'10-'11 Winter Sports Preview

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Austin Daily Herald

Packers hope mix of youth and veterans means wins BY ROCKY HULNE sports@austindailyherald.com

The Packers are hoping a strong mix of young talent with smart veterans can lead to a winning formula this upcoming boys basketball season. “We’ve got a chance to be extremely competitive,” Austin head coach Kris Fadness said. “Knock on wood, but with our young kids being as talented as they are and the growth I expect to see over the course of the year, come section time we could be a contender to go to the state tournament. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but I think we can contend and there’s not too many years where you can say that.” While Austin, which graduated six seniors from last year’s team that finished 13-13, will look to two sophomores and a freshman to contribute this season, it will also look for its vet-

erans to lead the way. In the backcourt, seniors Matt Duren, Jay Ettinger and Zach Fadness should all step up along with freshman Zach Wessels. “Those three (seniors) give us some nice leadership ability and they’re all smart kids,” Fadness said. “The thing I like about our seniors is that they’re they play smart basketball. They recognize the talent in our young kids and they’ll pull them along and really help them.” Inside, the Packers will look to get the bulk of their scoring from sophomores Tom Aase, a 6foot, 4-inch post player, and Joe Aase, a 6-6 center. “I think you’re going to see Tom’s offensive game develop as the year goes along,” Fadness said. “He’s gotten a lot more confident and I think he’ll be a little more aggressive. Joe’s just a flat out scorer with the ability to shoot the three and post up. He

wRocky Hulne/sports@austinda ilyherald.com

Austin head boys basketball coach Kris Fadness speaks to his team during a recent practice in Packer Gym.

can stretch the defense and make us tough to guard.” Tom Aase played varsity last season and he’s ready to come out a little stronger this season. “It helped a lot to know what it’s like to be out there,” he said. “We worked a lot in the offseason and I think we should be a lot better than last year.”

Duren is ready to take on a strong leadership role and he’s looking forward to a season that will see Austin press and run as much as it possibly can. “All the seniors have to be leaders, beacuse we’ve got a lot of young players,” Duren said. “Somebody’s got to step up and we’re pretty comfortable with

(the younger guys). We’ve been playing with them all summer and last year, so it’s nothing new.” Max Coffey, Caleb Knorr, Andrew Kaiser, Collin Weisert and Nathan Weisert should all contribute for Austin this season.

Austin girls basketball team hoping to improve BY ROCKY HULNE sports@austindailyherald.com

The Austin girls basketball team has the playmakers to get it done this year — it just needs the guards to get them the ball. As the Packers, who went 5-20 overall last season, are preparing for this season, the point guard position is the biggest question mark. “We don’t have much size and we’re going to have to rely on our speed,” Austin head coach Gary Peterson said. “It depends on how the point guards play. They’ve got to control the offense and we can’t be turning the ball over. It depends on how things play together.” Peterson said that five players are competing for time right now at point — Mary Kate Barinka, Nina Carney, Merideth Fritz, Olivia Grev and Steph Justice — and he hopes someone emerges

from that group. “There’s a bunch of different kids that could play point guard. (Fritz) kind of proved herself in the summer. We’ll have to see who steps up,” he said. One thing Austin has that it didn’t have last year is quite a bit of players with varsity experience. Sophomore forwards Jenna Svoboda and Taylor Lady played last season and junior forward Babaye Oja was All-Big Nine honorable mention last year. Oja, who should be the Packers go-to scorer, is feeling good about her team’s chances this season. “We’re going to take it to them (this year.) We’re looking forward to winning most of our games,” she said. “We’re pretty confident and we have a great team going out this year.” Svoboda and Lady haven’t quite found their rhythm in the early practices as both missed

time with injuries, but Peterson said they will still play big roles. “Those two are important parts of our team,” he said. “Taylor’s going to be a lot better this year with a year of experience.” Austin is also looking to get solid play from senior guard Sophie Hebrink, senior forward Meredith Molhusen and junior forward Danielle Tschann. “(Danielle) is our tallest and strongest kid, but last year was her first year of basketball. We’re hoping to get some minutes out her as she comes along,” Peterson said. “We’d like to get (Sophie) to take it to the basket more.” Peterson sees Owatonna and Mayo as the top two teams in the Big Nine, while Mankato West and Mankato East should be solid as well. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Jenna Svobada shoots a lay-up in practice as one of the returners to the Packers girls' basketball team.

Austin girls hockey team is hoping to share the wealth BY ROCKY HULNE sports@austindailyherald.com

The Austin girls hockey team is making changes on offense to make life easier on their new defensive players this season. After graduating four defenseman and a three-year starter at goalie, the Packers are splitting up their top six skaters into two solid offensive lines. There will be no clear No.1 group. “I’m looking at four or five girls to get thirty plus points this year. They look pretty good right now,” Austin head coach Denny Bray said. Of the top six skaters, four of

them had over 20 points last season. “For the past five years, there’s always been a dominant line,” senior Alex forward Larson said. “Now that we’re equal it will help us stay fresh and we’ll be able to keep our feet. But it’s going to be a lot of pressure to try and stop other teams from scoring.” Larson played defense last season and is moving back to offense this year. Her line will include senior Kirsten Stanek, who had 29 points and senior Ashley Arhart, who had 24 points last season. The other line will include sophomore center Carley Grunewald, who was All-Big


Nine with a team-high 38 points last season, junior Abby Gallaher, who had 22 points last season, and junior Rebecca Bartlett. “Abby and I have skated together since we were little so it’s easier to maneuver around the ice together,” Grunewald said. “We just have to learn to skate with Rebecca.” Defensively, Austin’s main returner is junior Vanessa Talamantes and she will anchor the back of the ice with her sister, Justina Talamantes, who is a freshman. Leslie Fuerstenberg, a sophomore, and Marie Clennon, a junior should also step up on defense. Austin sophomore Sam


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2 TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2010 Winter sports preview

LeBarron will step up as the starting goalie after being the backup for the last two seasons. “Sam’s got great mechanics, but sometimes she loses focus and that’s because of her age,” Bray said. “We’ve got to get over that and we’ll work every practice.” LeBarron is a little nervous to start her varsity career, but she did learn some lessons from watching former Austin goalie Audrey DeVries. “When I first got out on the ice the first thing coach said ‘this is Audrey, she’s really good, just shadow her.’ I do everything she does and I’ve gone to camps over the summer,” LeBaron said.

Bray is pretty confident with his backup goalie as well as seventh grader Allison Hoban has shown some promise early on. “She’s going to be a good goalie, but right now she’s real green,” he said. “I have a coach with her every day and she’ll be the backup goalie for now unless something changes.” She looks real promising.” The Packer offense will be missing one of

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Packers hoping for a solid season BY ROCKY HULNE sports@austindailyherald.com

Last year, the Austin boys hockey team showed it can win some games and this year they’re hoping to come out on top a lot more. Austin rebounded from a winless season to go 9-17 last season and with a few key returnees, Packers head coach Tim Peterson is feeling optimistic. “We’ve been talking about the opportunity the guys have,” he said. “If we play hard enough and work hard enough, we’ve got a shot at being in the top part of the conference and we haven’t been there for a couple of years.” Austin returns it’s top two defenseman in sophomore Marcus Stoulil and senior Josh Detwiler. Those two will be aided by sophomores Conor Petersen and Pat Wagner. “We’ve got a good young team and we’re hoping to get some wins,” Detwiler said. “We’ve been working hard and we haven’t had any complaints. We’ve had a good attitude.” Offensively, the Packers will look to seniors Josh Hart, Devin McCune and Jaret Retterath to lead the way along with sophomore Zach Miller and junior Dylan Hoium. “Zach Miller looks really good right now. We’re impressed with how he’s playing,” Peterson said. “Devin McCuin is a great hard worker. Hopefully he can get his scoring touch back and


Packer swimmers should have depth this year AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Senior Josh Hart skates the puck out of the corner during a practice this year. get some points for us.” Hart is hoping the forwards can do more than just score. “We have two really good defenseman returning, but we have to have to make plays as forwards to keep pressure off them,” he said. “We’re all working really hard and that shows that we’re committed.” The biggest question mark for the Packers this season will be in net, where the job of goalie up for grabs between the trio of Alex Sheldon, Rainer Londino-

Green, and Logan Schuster. Peterson plans on using a rotation early in the season before establishing his starter at goalie. “We’ve got three kids that are battling for that spot and they’re stepping up,” Peterson said. “That’s going to be good because it’ll be a competition and that will make them better. Once we get it going, we’ll have one guy that’s standing out on top that we can rely on.” Austin will still look to play an up-tempo style this season

and Peterson said the team has the speed to play that way. He also says that a positive attitude should help the team this year. “We’ve got some great team chemistry and it’s been positive,” he said. “The older kids have been working with younger kids and they know the system so they can help out. That gives us a few more coaches other than just the four of us.”

The Austin boys swimming and diving team should feature a large team with plenty of depth this season. It brings back to state qualifiers in Michael Thorsheim and Nick Brehmer, and Alex Knoll, Mark Thorson, Gabe Franta and Gabe Deyo should also chip in for the team. “We plan to work early to see where the members of the team will be the strongest individually and where they can make us the strongest team possible,” Austin head coach Lynn Gulbrandson, who is in his 25th year, said. “We know as we improve individual times we look to improve on our finish in the Big Nine Conference.” Austin has 14 returning athletes from last year’s team. “We have a solid team balance of student-athletes in each grade this group has excellent potential to develop into a very competitive team,” Gulbrandson said.

Winter sports preview TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2010 3

Austin gymnasts are hoping to get back to state BY ROCKY HULNE

Eric Johnson/photodesk@austind ailyherald.com


The Austin gymnastics team may be without its top two gymnasts from last year’s squad that took sixth at the Class ‘A’ state meet, but the Packers are definitely not panicking. Austin head coach Mark Raymond thinks his team will be just fine, despite graduating Sabrina Snater and having Sela Fadness move on to compete for a USAG year-round club in Pine Island. Raymond is also acknowledging that his group is not guaranteed a trip back to state. “Last year’s accomplishments belong to last year’s team. This year’s team has yet to determine what their accomplishments will be. They’re going to have to work for everything they get,” Raymond said. “We’re going to be tighter on the bottom (of our lineup). Our bottom three scores will be higher than our bottom three last year. As a team, I think we can get right where we were last year and we have the possibility of doing better.” The majority of Austin’s core will be back from last year and the team should get a boost from senior Selena Hataye, who has competed for a year-round USAG club in Rochester before coming to the high school team this year. “She’s going to be a solid varsity gymnast for us,” Raymond said of Hataye. “I think she’s going to show real well, she’ll be a top girl in the Big Nine and if we fix things correctly, she’s got a shot at making at little noise at the state meet. Hataye is looking forward to getting a chance to compete with her classmates and she thinks the Packers have a good chance to get back to state.

C a r o l y n Hackel practices on the uneven parallel bars at the YMCA.

“I thought it would be a great experience to be able to do it with my classmates and it’s just more fun,” Hataye said. “The team’s going to be great this year and it’ll be a blast.” Austin has a young core in place as it will look to eighth graders Abby Bickler and Carolyn Hackel to contribute and sophomores Abby Snater and Casidy Bawek should also be key contributors. The squad also has three seventh graders — Ila Anderson, Rachel Quandt and Logan Tisher — who could help the

varsity team. “(The seventh graders) should really fill in for us and they’ll be solid gymnasts,” Raymond said. “They could be really good, we’ll see how they adjust to everyday practice and more personalized coaching. We got younger and it’s going to be a different look. I think we’ll probably be a little stronger as group.” Senior Breanna Wehner was on last year’s state qualifying team and she’s ready to help out some of the younger gymnasts this year. She thinks the

squad has a good chance to repeat last year’s success. “I’m ready to go back to the state tournament and I really think we can do it with this team. We have a lot of talent,” she said. Austin will also have two new assistant coaches this season in Kate Schoonover and Katie Lamb. While it hurts his team to lose Fadness this season, Raymond understands her decision. In Pine Island she can compete all year round and work with coaches, but if she

stayed with the high school team, she’d only be able to work with coaches for four months out of the year. Fadness is still enrolled at Austin High. “This was a really good decision for her, it’s something we couldn’t provide her with,” Raymond said. “We’d love to have her on the team, she’s a great kid. But it’s good for her and we’re planning on going out and watching her in December.”

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Hayfield girls basketball team must replace scorers AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

The Hayfield girls basketball team is looking to replace six graduated seniors, including two 1,000 point scorers, as it prepares for the upcoming season.

Hayfield, which went 19-9 overall last season, is looking to it’s five returning players to chip in along with a couple of new faces. “We need to find some scoring to replace what we have lost,” Hayfield head coach

Fred Kindschy, who has coached the girls team for seven years, said. “We have some quickness and some girls who like to get after it. We may need to open it up a little this year to create some transition baskets.”

Junior point guard Alyssa Selk should move into the starting lineup to guide Hayfield’s offense and juniors Abby Blanchard and Kelsey Severson should also chip in. Sophomore Abby Pollack stepped into the lineup last

Vikings look to get out and run this year

Hayfield wrestlers have solid experience


The Vikings are going to try and get down the court as fast as possible this year to get their top gunner involved as they prepare for the boys basketball season. Hayfield graduated two big scorers and six seniors from last year’s team that went 11-15 overall, and the attention will likely shift to junior guard Bobbie Stephens, who hit 40 percent on threes last season. “We have one of best, if not the best three point shooter in the area,” Hayfield head coach Chris Pack, who is in his 11th year at the helm, said. “We are going to run as much as we can, looking to get Bobbie open looks in transition. We look to be better defensively, especially containing people off the dribble. We are looking at making a couple key changes in our defensive philosophy to help with it.” Hayfield should also get a scoring boost from sophomore Brady Kramer, who came on strong at the end of last year. Seniors Evan Bungum and Tyler Krekling will also step up. “We have a few guys capable of beating people off the dribble and finishing in the lane and getting to the free throw line,” Pack said. “But overall size and rebounding is a concern. We are going to be young, playing a freshman and two sophomores, which isn't always a recipe for success in the HVL.” Hayfield also returns Brady Stevens, Tyler Anderson and Ryan Connelly from last year’s team.

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year and she will be a big factor again and seniors Molly Streightiff and Liz Ristau will be looking to step up as well. “It will be an interesting early season, with a lot of spots up for grabs,” Kindschy said.


Herald file photo

The Vikings are looking to six seniors to lead the way for them as they graduated just one wrestler from last year’s team that had one state qualifier. The Vikings bring back Mason Moreno, a ninth grader who went to state last season and seniors Tyler Nelson, Jake Siemers, and Blake Arndt should also be key. Hayfield has 13 wrestlers coming back from last year’s team and three of them took third at the section meet last season. “We have two returning wrestlers with state experience,” Hayfield head coach Mark Evjen said. “Our top three weights finished third in the section last year so all of them would like to join the other two in St. Paul.”

Hayfield's Tyler Krekling drives in the first half against NRHEG in the Section 2A-South quarterfinals last season in New Richland.

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L/P boys get a new coach

Athletic girls look to improve this season AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

Lyle/Pacelli returns six starters from last year’s squad that went 2-22, but won two of it’s last four girls basketball games last season. The Athletics are set to peak at the end of the season, according to head coach Brad Walter, who is in his fourth year and he likes his team’s depth. “We’re looking for our seniors to step up and be able to get our team to gel together,” he said. “We will have a lot of mix between older players and

young players moving up. We really started playing our best basketball at the end of the season last year, and hopefully that will transfer over to this season.” Walter said the biggest challenge for L/P is how fast his team learns to play together. He hopes the team can improve drastically and play close to .500 ball. “I’m looking forward to a much improved season,” he said. “We return a lot of girls with experience, but we will also be adding players this year that can really help our team.” Herald file photo

Lyle/Pacelli's Ann Rysavy brings the ball up-court against Hope Lutheran's Felicia Meyer during the second half last year in Lyle.

Herald file photo

Colton Scherer holds up to pass during a game from this past 2009-2010 season. AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

The Lyle/Pacelli boys basketball team will have four new starters and a new coach after going 20-6 last season. The Athletics, who graduated two 1,000 point scorers in Cody Meyer and Brady Stier, will look to sophomore Skylar Meyer to lead the way along with seniors Ryan Rust and Carter Guthmiller. “The L/P basketball program has high expectations as a whole. We’re young and learning some new things once we under-


stand our roles as a team we will be fine,” L/P head coach Casey Anderson said. Colton Scherer, Mike Hutchinson, Mike Kline and Max Brennan will also look to contribute. “We have a lot of younger kids who want to step up and play so it should be a fun year,” Anderson said. “I’m hoping to see the kids come together and compete.” Anderson said that his style will be similar to former coach Reid Olson’s style and the team will still focus on defense first.

Winter sports preview TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2010 7

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Rebels bring back one state wrestler AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

The Southland wrestlers will return one state qualifier and nine returning letterwinners from last year’s squad as they prepare for the upcoming season. The Rebels will look to senior Grant Hegge, who took sixth at state at 145 pounds last season to lead them. Mike Churchill should also be a leader for the Rebels, who have experience, but won’t fill out a full team. “As in the past, we will continue to work hard and look for improvement from week to week,” said Southland head coach Bill Feuchtenberg, who is in his 24th year at the helm, said. “Our goal is to do as well as we can as we prepare for the tournaments at the end of the year.”

Rebel girls look for strong season AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

The Southland basketball team is hoping its eight returning players with varsity experience from last year’s team that went 11-15 overall are all a year better as its girls basketball team prepares for the upcoming season. “We are hoping to finish high in the conference and maybe contend for the title, but we have a lot of work to do for that,” Southland head coach Bob Sheehan, who is in his second year, said. “We also would like to make a deep run in the postseason.”

The Rebels graduated two seniors, but they bring back their second-leading scorer in sophomore shooting guard Jana Schammel, who averaged 13.2 points and 4 assists last season. “Jana has started for the past two years and has been very good all around and we expect her to continue to get better and continue to lead this team,” Sheehan said. Southland will also bring back senior center Brandi Schammel and junior Kelli Smith, who was one of the team’s top defenders last season. “We expect Kelli to do

the same this year along with scoring more on the offensive side of the ball,” Sheehan said. Madi Schmitz, Lindsey Bottema, Brianna Reinartz, Breanne Vogel and Haley Kirkpatrick should all chip an as well for Southland, which looks to avoid foul trouble and turnovers this year. “The biggest strength that we have this year is our quickness and outside shooting,” Sheehan said. “We are going to rely on using these strengths to get us through the conference schedule.”

Rebels will be on the run AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

The Rebels are looking to get out and run to make up for a lack of size this basketball season. While Southland doesn’t have any big plaeyrs up front, it has some good athletes in sophmore Mike Goergen, who averaged 10 points and six rebounds last season, Alan May, a fourth-year starter who averaged 11 points per game last season, and senior Sam Noterman, a third-year starter. “With the athletic ability we have this year we are going to fast break and press. We want to run the other team out of gas,” Southland head coach Jon Thalberg, who is in his fifth year s coach, said. Sophomore Nick Schmitz should also give the Rebels, who graduated eight players from last year’s team, a lift. Thalberg is hoping his veterans can lead the way for their younger counterparts. Herald file photo “Alan and Sam both bring many years of varsity expereince with them and will be a Alan May goes up for a lay-up during a great help to the younger guys,” he said. game in December of 2009.

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Packer wrestlers will look to learn and grow BY ROCKY HULNE sports@austindailyherald.com

The Austin wrestling team will feature many new faces this season, and that may not be a bad thing. While the team graduated both of it’s state qualifiers

from last season — Howie Underwood and Mike Hirsch, who both had over 100 career wins — head coach Bill Kinney is looking forward to teaching his new squad a thing or two. “I’m pretty excited about the year because I’ve gotten to

the point in my coaching career where I really like the development of young kids and inexperienced kids,” Kinney said. “With the veterans, you can improve them a little bit, but you don’t see the daily growth that you see out of the kids that are new to the pro-

gram.” Austin will be strong in the lower weights, and Thomas Herrera enters his fourth year in varsity at the heavyweight position, but some of the other spots are yet to be taken. “If we aren’t able to fill weights, then we’ll struggle. If

we’re able to fill the weights and keep everybody healthy, we could do well,” Kinney said. “There’s some kids that have been waiting to get in the varsity lineup and there’s some guys waiting in the wings that can do some really good things.” Herrera has already stepped up as an early leader for the Packers, as he recruited some new wrestlers and he hopes for a quality year for himself. Herrera was All-Big Nine last year and seeded No. 2 in the section tournament, but he missed out on state. “Hopefully I’ll turn that section placewinning into a state entrance,” he said. “I’ll be seeing a few of the same wrestlers, but there’ll be some new guys too.” Austin sophomore Erick Power, who may wrestle at 119 pounds this season, is also looking to make some noise. He lost a match that would’ve sent him to state last season and he’s used that as motivation. “I’ll try to be that much better this year and hopefully get to state,” he said. While Kinney acknowledges that Power and Herrera both are in the mix of contenders to get to state, he also pointed out that it will not be an easy task. “I think Eric’s as good as anybody out there, but he’ll be back in a similar weight class and this year he’ll be going against last year’s smaller weights and there was a lot of quality in those classes last season,” Kinney said. “Not going last year has left Thomas very hungry and I like what I see so far from him. He’s focused and ready to roll, but that’s going to be a tough heavyweight section.” Some of the other wrestlers who should step up for Austin are Dylan Diekmann and Brennan Russell in the lower weights and Kyle Meyer, who should wrestle at 152 or 160.

Herald file photo

Austin's Erick Power tries to pin Faribault Marcus Riggle in the 119 true second place match for a trip to the state tournament during the Section 1AAA tournament last season at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester.

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BP boys look different

BP wrestlers are packed in middle weights BP has several athletes at same spot AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

Herald File Photo

The Blooming Prairie wrestling team is packed in the middle weights as it brings back eight wrestlers from last years squad. “We have several retur ning letter winners that will provide for a solid foundation,” BP head coach Kevin Driessen said. “We're heavy with wrestlers in the 130-160 weight classes. There is the possibility that we may have some quality wrestlers not wrestling varsity due to being stacked up at certain weights.” BP will look to Seth Johnson, Adam Driessen, Derek Drees, Jarrod Grunklee and Tom Shawback to lead the way this year.

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Cooper Nelson works inside against Bethlehem Academy last season in Blooming Prairie. AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

The Blooming Prairie boys basketball team will have a very different look than last year’s squad that went 8-15 overall. “We lost a lot from last season’s team, but we are still very optimistic for the upcoming season,” BP head coach John Bruns, who is in his 12th year at the helm, said. “We will have a lot of inexperience, but we hope to counter that with a lot of enthusiasm and energy on the court.” The Awesome Blossoms graduated seven players and they return just one starter in center Cooper Nelson, who averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds per game last season while setting the school records for rebounds and blocks. The only other returnee to play signfificant minutes is junior shooting guard Luke Hueman. “Luke will be a major contributor this year in the backcourt,” Bruns said. “He is a strong player that can score inside and out, and is a very good rebounder from


the guard position.” Seniors Isaac Clark, a 6 foot, 2-inch forward and Tom Fogarty, a 6-4 center will both play bigger roles season, along with junior guard Luc Zellmer. “Tom will get a chance to play a lot more and Isaac is one that we hope can fulfill a big role this year,” Bruns said. “Luc is a very unselfish player who we are hoping will make a big impact this year.” BP will also be without Jordan Ressler, who was set to play varsity ball this year, but he died in a car crash in November. “Jordan was a member of the basketball program and we will all miss his ability to shoot the ball from anywhere on the floor,” Bruns said. “However, this loss is minor compared to what he meant to all his classmates, teachers, community, friends, and family. We are comforted in knowing that Jordan will be with us all in our hearts every time we step on the basketball floor.”

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Winter sports preview TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2010 9

Cards will have a new look

Herald file photo

LeRoy-Ostrander's Chanda Riedemann contends for a rebound with Rushford-Peterson's Kenzie Lind during the second half in their Section 1A East semifinal game last season at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester.


The Cardinal girls basketball team graduated three 1,000 point scorers from last year’s team that went 22-5 and this year looks to be a bit of a rebuilding one. L/O returns two starters in juniors Chanda Riedemann and Krista Bunne, but the team has just a couple of other players back who played significant minutes last season. Senior Sam Hamlin is one key returnee. “We are going to be very young,” said second year head coach Aaron Hungerholt. “I will be playing a lot of sophomores and a freshman along with my two juniors. Sam brings an aggressiveness to the team that I hope will be contagious.” The Cardinals will lack size, but they hope to turn up the pressure to off-set that. “We are hoping to play a lot of girls and play a more up-tempo game both offense and defense,” Hungerholt said.

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The Grand Meadow girls basketball team may be in a bit of a rebuilding mode as it graduated its entire starting lineup from last year’s team that went 15-10 overall. The Larks will be led by their three seniors — guards Hailey Hanken and Beth Mallory and forward Hillary Churchill.

GM boys have new players AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

The Grand Meadow boys basketball team is looking for some new players to help it rebound from last year’s 9-16 campaign. The Superlarks bring back a couple of players with experience in Dezmon Johnson and Bryce Benson and it will also look to newcomers Caleb Liechtnam and Jason Stier to make an impact. “We will have quite a few guys playing significant varsity minutes for the first time,” GM head coach Chad Burmester, who is in his fifth year, said. “We will be looking to improve with each practice and each game. Our team goal for the year will be to finish in the top five in the conference.” The Larks will excel at rebounding and team speed, but they will be little short on experience at some positions.

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10 TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2010 Winter sports preview


BP brings plenty back AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

The Blooming Prairie girls basketball team is looking to a few key returnees to lead the way for them this season as they look to bounce back from last year’s 13-13 record. BP will be led by senior guard Erica Manske, who averaged 8.4 points and 3.6 rebounds last season, and senior forward Whitney Burt, who averaged 7.8 points and 6.3 rebounds last season. Junior center Kelli Naatz will give the team a strong presence in the paint. “We should be deeper than we have been in the past,” said BP head coach John Worke, who is in his 18th year at the helm. “We have a number of kids that can play several positions so it will give us some flexibility.” Sophomore Janelle Morem, who averaged 4.8 points and 2.4 steals per Herald file photo game, also returns to the BP lineup, along with senior Tayla Jones. Erica Manske goes up for a layup against Lyle/Pacelli last season in Blooming Prairie.

Cards are ready to roll AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

LeRoy/Ostrander will rely on all seniors and underclassmen this boys basketball season as the team has no juniors out. The Cardinals are hoping the leadership of senior Kirk Nelson, a play-making guard, and senior big men Mark Miller and Jordan Osmundson can lift the squad. Mitch Scaglione and Dom Lazzara will also be asked to step up for L/O. “We will be looking to several un-

derclassmen to step up and play big minutes and have to make big contributions,” second year head coach Jason Jude said. “All of the students have gotten a year to play in my system so they should be more comfortable running all of my sets and plays.” Jude is hoping L/O, which went 421 overall last season, will stay in games this year and compete into the second half. He looks to start things with the Cards’ defense.

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Winter sports preview TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2010 11