|Dragons look forward to another successful year on the ball court|
|Written by Chris Lee|
Returning letterwinners from last year’s state championship team include from left, front
The excitement has boiled down, seniors have moved on, the gold ball has taken its place in the trophy case and new excitement builds for what the 2010-11 basketball season has to offer.
Fresh off a state championship, this year’s Holyoke boys’ basketball team will have some big shoes to fill. Six seniors graduated from last year’s Class 2A state champions basketball team. Four of those seniors started for last year’s squad and two of them started all four years of their high school career.
That doesn’t mean this year’s team won’t have talent. Many of the returning players have seen considerable playing time on the state tournament floor.
“That’s experience that’s immeasurable,” coach Scott Dille said.
Eight letterwinners return and all had considerable playing time during last season’s 25-2 run. They include seniors Preston King, Cody Fricke, Brian DeBoer and Willie Greenman; and juniors Austin Killin, Reid Baumgartner, Jeremy Loutensock and Alex Quintana.
In all, 27 players showed up for the first day of practice Friday, Nov. 12. Dille said practice has gone great so far and the kids will only improve as they go forward. “As we continue to practice, hopefully we’ll get to where we can play fast and sharp at the same time.”
Dille will spend his first year as the Dragons’ head coach. He has been the assistant coach for the past four seasons and will be assisted by Aaron Sprague.
“Everyone in our program feels they have something to prove either to themselves, or to someone else,” coach Dille said. “Everyone in our program knows we lost some great players, but our guys want to prove that while we lost a lot, it isn’t the end of the world. It is a great place for us to be when everyone is so driven.”
One of the changes will be the size of the team that takes the court for the Dragons this year. There are only four players on the varsity roster listed at 6’ or taller with the tallest being Killin at 6’2”.
Coach Dille said there will be a slight change in style on how the team plays the game to hopefully help them succeed against taller teams. Feeling everyone out and finding out the roles will help the team considerably. “The kids are unselfish and great kids,” the coach said.
Other team members include seniors Pekka Roivas and Joel Rodriguez; juniors Julian Titze, Christopher Bieber and Philip Buck; sophomores Jaydin Goldenstein, Brett Cumming, Deyten Klein, Logan Zeiler, Matt Golden, Phillip Beck, Mike Kuehl and Emanuel Rapp; and freshmen Trevor Dalton, Ryan Parker, Tanner Smith, Zach Roll, Saul Ramos and Logan Tharp.
The Dragons will open the 2010-11 campaign Friday, Dec. 3 when they host county rival Haxtun. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. The following night, Idalia will come to town with games set to begin at 3 p.m.