The Minnewaska boys’ basketball team got hit by the injury bug before the season even started as the Lakers try to improve upon an 8-16 record from a year ago.
Minnewaska will have to do that without two quality players. Senior captain Trenton Noetzelman suffered a knee injury in football and sophomore Riley Thompson will also be out with a knee injury.
That adds to the task that first-year head coach Todd Beecher has on his hands. The Lakers are coming off a losing record but are just two years removed from a 25-5 season. He will have a big senior class to help him out this year as captain Austin Giese, Austin Lieser, Jake Amundson, Isiah Adams, Tyler Nielsen and Will Formo look to lead the way.
“We will be a small team but are very athletic,” Beecher said. “The Lakers are hoping to play an up-tempo style of ball, both on offense and defense. We will be looking to get early shots in our offensive sets or off breaks. We will be looking to have a more balanced scoring attack, as well.”
The junior class should add depth to the Minnewaska roster. Austin Ostrander and Jayden Beecher saw quite a bit of playing time as sophomores. They also hope to get added depth from others in the junior class if the Lakers are going to climb their way back up in the West Central Conference.
Minnewaska finished 3-7 in league play a year ago. Melrose won the North half of the league last winter and figures to be a player in the conference again this season.
“I think the toughest competition for us in our conference will be Melrose, Sauk Centre and Morris,” Beecher said. “We are hoping to compete well with them.”
2012 MINNEWASKA BOYS’ BASKETBALL
ROSTER – SENIORS – Austin Giese, Austin Lieser, Christian Rorvig, Isiah Adams, Jake Amundson, Trenton Noetzelman, Tyler Nielson, Will Formo
JUNIORS – Alex Elwood, Andrew Kinney, Austin Ostrander, Cory Johnshoy, Derek Burd, Jack Schultenover, Kenny Diaz
SOPHOMORES – Jackson Hendrickson, Jon Nygaard, Luke Nielsen, Matt Paulson, Michael Maus, Riley Thompson, Will Anderson, Howard McNeil
FRESHMEN – Arren Geselle, Austin VerSteeg, Brandon French, Craig Spore, Ethan Anderson, Grant Hitchcock, Greg Helander, Justin Amundson, Matt McIver, Michael Gruber, Peter Frischmon, Riley Kinney, Ryder Lynk, Tony Hill, Trenson DeJager
COACHES – Head coach – Todd Beecher – first year; Assistant coaches – Darin Johnson, Dick Cordes