Lauren Schutter | sports editor
With success on his mind already, head coach Christian Ulsaker prepared well for his third season at Wabaunsee.
“I’ve already watched every game from last year, and I’ve keyed in on our returning starters just to see what their strengths and weaknesses are,” Ulsaker said.
Everybody knows about this teams’ previous success. After a “Cinderella Story” state appearance and a stunning victory over #1 seed Hoxie in the state tournament, the team still plans to out-do themselves.
“I expect to win our league and to get where we ended our season last year, but with a different outcome,” junior Eli Oliver said.
Other players share a similar belief.
“I expect a lot. I expect to win a lot of games and compete for a state championship. We have a lot of players ready to play and step up that are also comfortable playing. We work hard in every practice, and everyone knows how close we were to hanging a championship banner last year,” senior Brayden Meseke said.
The team will be returning starters Cade Oliver, Brayden Meseke, and Eli Oliver. Meseke averaged an impressive 14 ppg, while the two Olivers recorded 11.2 and 9.7ppg respectively. These three, previously joined by Dawson Schultz and Tyler Lohmeyer, were also known for the remarkable number of minutes they spent on the court. They were playing 30 minutes a game, but the coaches and the team believe this year will be different.
“This year I expect Ryan (Schutter), Logan (Clark) and Zach (Frank) to pick up the pieces of the seniors from last year. Also on the stretch, I expect Lanson (Parry) and Bryton (Reves) to help make the team go a little deeper,” Ulsaker said.
Along with making the team deeper varsity-wise, the JV and C teams look to grow too.
“We have a big freshman class with seven or eight guys out. It’s good to see large numbers, and I like to have the C team stay primarily freshmen,“ Ulsaker said.
About some key games to win, Ulsaker said “I think a key one’s definitely Mission Valley. I want to keep that streak of not losing to Mission Valley alive. I tell all the boys that we don’t lose to in-county rivals.”
He also added: “St. Marys will also be a big one, along with Lyndon and JCN, who will most likely be in our sub-state. I’d also love to get the ‘monkey on our back’ off with Rock Creek to start the year off.”
The varsity, junior varsity, and C team will be making the trip to Axtell on Friday, starting off a season with a ton of potential.