SSC hopes seniors lead way to success
OKABENA -- Bringing back four experienced seniors, the Southwest Star Concept boys' basketball team looks poised to have a successful season.
SSC was 14-11 a year ago, and Evan Place, Keith Rogers and Jason Diemer have graduated. However, head coach Tim Owen has six lettermen returning.
Back for his fourth season at center is senior James Granstra. He has 996 career points, and will be joined by classmates Trevor Leopold, Lloyd Kalfs and Cody Ferguson in the starting lineup.
Leopold is a threat from the outside, while Kalfs and Ferguson will join Granstra in the frontcourt.
Junior Tyler Timko and sophomore Ben Scheevel also return with experience. Scheevel will run the point, while Timko, junior James Anderson and sophomore Kirk McBreen will provide valuable depth on the perimeter.
The Quasars open the season tonight at the Harris-Lake Park tournament.
Murray County Central
Bringing back four veteran starters, the Murray County Central Rebels are looking to shine under head coach Tim Bobeldyk.
Gone off last year's 13-12 team are Kyle Johnson, Cole Rachuy and Chris LeTendre.
Returning as starters are seniors Derik Johnson and Nate Ellens, and juniors Paul Counter and Spencer Grimmius, who will work on the inside with the other three being perimeter players.
Senior Tom Spartz and juniors Cole Hegstad and Brian Everson are among the other Rebels projected to contribute.
The Rebels visit Pipestone Area tonight.
Much like the girls' team, the Southwest Christian Eagles will have to replace seven seniors from a year ago.
Head coach Jamie Pap's club was 13-12 last year, but A.J. Pronk, Devin Van't Hof, Brent Van Schepen, Jess Van Dyke, Jordan Huisken, Josh Van Hofwegen and Andrew Schnyders all graduated.
Leading the Eagles this year will be seniors Eric Schaap, Karl Vander Lugt and Trent Ryswyk.
Ryan Pronk and Alex Huisken lead a group of juniors projected to see action, joining Trevor Holm, Mike Vander Veen and Tyler Mouw, among others.
The Eagles host MCC next Friday to open the season.
The Adrian Dragons were 11-13 a year ago, and head coach Chris Rozell has four key players to replace.
Robert Swayze, Jory Haken, Lee Stover and Brad Brake, who is playing hoops at Hamline University, received their diplomas last spring.
Coming back for the Dragons are seniors Ryan Lonneman, Cody Kontz, Brandon Diekmann, John Archer and Trent Lutmer.
Juniors Blake Springman and Brett Oertli are among the other Dragons looking to contribute.
Adrian hosts Minneota tonight.
Red Rock Central
With seven letterwinners coming back, optimism is high for the Red Rock Central Falcons.
Matt Moldan, Shane Neperman and Chase Bierman graduated off last year's 11-14 club, but head coach Brian Walker has plenty of experience returning.
Seniors Kyle Huls, Dylan Barker and Tim Furth are expected to lead the Falcons, as are juniors Blake Walker and Josh Fredrickson.
Other juniors projected to see court time are Travis Vollmer, Jordan Wetter, Ryan Benedict and Turner Nickel.
RRC hosts Springfield Tuesday.
Head coach Derrick Jenniges has a strong core of returning players, and the Westbrook-Walnut Grove Chargers are hoping to have a breakout season.
Brennan Enstad and Jake Severson are gone from last year's 4-21 squad, but the Chargers return their top three scorers in seniors Jonathan Kells, Jake Wahl and Prestin Parker.
Seniors Zach Merrick, Brian Theisen and Layne Kockelman will provide speed for the Chargers, while junior Joe Doubler and some sophomores are other candidates for playing time.
W-WG hosts Wabasso Saturday.
With a pair of strong guards returning, the Round Lake-Brewster Raiders will seek to better last season's 8-16 record.
Head coach Lon Eichenberger loses Nate Ober, Jay Malenke, Mike Schmitz, Jared Bourquin and Tanner Scharping from a year ago, but is optimistic his squad can be competitive.
Senior Lon David Eichenberger and junior Cole Baumgard are returning to RL-B's backcourt, while senior Riley Pohlman also saw some action last year.
Also expected to contribute for the Raiders are senior Derek Baerenwald and juniors Alex Obermoller, Tim Haberman, Riley Van Westen and Erik Bourquin.
RL-B opens by visiting ML/B-O next Friday.
The Edgerton Flying Dutchmen, last year's league champions, will have to replace seven players from a 15-8 campaign.
Reed Van Hulzen, Max Zwart, Brett Elgersma, Tony Fluit, Derek Westenberg, Jordan Hunter and Chad Grengs all graduated, leaving the Flying Dutchmen rather inexperienced.
Kevin Vander Schaaf is the team's lone senior. Coming off another outstanding football season, he will look to lead the club.
Juniors on head coach Doug Van Kley's roster include Jordan Bouw, Trevor Gunnink, Allen Hendriks, Brandon Gunnink, D.J. Berning, Micah Mesman and Brady Vander Waal.
Edgerton hosts Lincoln HI/Lake Benton Monday.
Head coach Steve Wiertzema brings back all but three players from a year ago, when the Hills-Beaver Creek Patriots went 4-23.
Devin DeBoer, Jason Hup and John Sandbulte graduated, but the Patriots bring back plenty of experience as they strive for improvement.
Seniors Aaron Esselink, Adam Finke, Cody Rozeboom and Tom Scholten return to lead the Patriots.
Sophomores Halden Van Whye and Terence Reid are among the other prospects for the Patriots.
H-BC hosts Pipestone Area Tuesday.
Reaching the Section 3A South finals a year ago, the Fulda Raiders will need to replace six seniors from a 16-11 club.
Sam Woitalewicz, John Isder, Tim Haberman, Lucas Isder, Jared Steffen and Anthony Drealan all graduated from head coach Harvey Carroll's team.
Returning with experience for the Raiders are juniors Tom Kuhl and David Crowley, and sophomore Alex Hein.
Among the other candidates looking to contribute are senior Wade Herrmann, juniors Brett Sandhurst and Brady Spies, and sophomores Tyler Goedtke and Aaron Leinen.
Fulda visits H-BC next Friday to open the season.
Featuring a young squad, the Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin Wolverines will have to replace six seniors from last year, when they went 16-8.
Danny Snyder, Matthew Myers, Sunny Kounlabout, Jared Karschnik, Reid Feil and Lance Bartel have all graduated, leaving head coach Shawn Naas' club pretty inexperienced.
Returning with some court time are juniors Kyle Schroeder, Barrett Herrig and Evan Anderson.
Also expected to help the Wolverines are juniors Matt Strom, Taylor Adrian and Tyler Oakland, as well as seniors Jacob Gordon and Eric Mathiowetz.
ML/B-O visits Sleepy Eye St. Mary's tonight.