The Alexandria boys’ basketball team has reason for optimism despite losing seven seniors to graduation last year.
The Cardinals are coming off a 10-16 season that was filled with some good wins followed by disappointing losses. The silver lining in that is that a lot of sophomores and juniors got their feet wet at the varsity level.
“[We saw] steady improvement over the course of the season,” head coach Forrest Witt said, “And got valuable experience for multiple underclassmen.”
Those same players will now be expected to lead the way for a team that wants to get back to a winning season. Logan Doyle will lead the way as one of the top players in the Central Lakes Conference. The 6’8” senior is fresh off a summer where he made a name for himself on the AAU circuit that ultimately led to him signing a scholarship offer from Division I South Dakota State University.
Doyle averaged a double-double as a junior with 13.2 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. He knows he will see a lot of double teams in the post this winter, but is also confident that he has the shooters around him to make teams pay for that.
Junior John Vogeler showed he could do just that at times as a sophomore. The 6’3” guard was second on the team in scoring at 11.8 points per game. David Krivanek and Brandon Bistodeau join him on the wings in a guard-heavy junior class. Forwards Chase Kohler and Blake Stockert, along with senior center Ted Deitz and guard Kevin Setterstrom will add to a lineup that features guys who know what it’s like to play at the varsity level.
“We are excited for the season as we have a good core of returning players that earned valuable experience last season,” Witt said. “We also have several underclassmen that worked hard during the off-season and will compete for minutes at the varsity level.”
Alexandria has to take a 180 degree turn to get back to the top of the CLC standings. The Cardinals finished last in the league last year at 4-12, while five teams finished at .500 or better. Willmar won the league title with a 12-4 record last winter.
Witt listed Sartell, Brainerd and Fergus Falls as the top teams in the conference entering this season. He also sees the Sabres and Otters as contenders come Section 8AAA tournament time.
SENIORS – Logan Doyle, F/C; Ted Deitz, C; Kevin Setterstrom, G
JUNIORS – John Vogeler, G; David Krivanek, G; Brandon Bistodeau, G; Chase Kohler, F; Blake Stockert, F
COACHES – Head coach – Forrest Witt – fifth season, 42-59; Assistant coaches – Josh Dale, Tom Miller, Wade Traphagen