Jacob Meseke | editor in chief
With seven returning varsity players, boys basketball looks to carry momentum from the summer into the season.
Basketball competed in multiple tournaments over the summer, winning its 1A-2A MAYB tournament. The Chargers defeated the 2A preseason #4 Inman Teutons in the championship. WHS enters the preseason ranked #6 by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association.
The Chargers come off of a 17-6 season where they lost to the eventual 2A state runner-up St. Marys Bears in overtime of the substrate championship.
Christian Ulsaker enters his fourth season as coach of the Chargers. Ulsaker looks forward to seeing the team compete and is ready to see how much the seniors have improved from freshman year.
“I really enjoy how they get after it. Being able to coach these seniors for the last time. They’re my first four-year group. I’m really excited to see how much they’ve developed from freshman year to senior year,” Ulsaker said.
Basketball returns three starters: seniors Eli Oliver, Logan Clark and Ryan Schutter. Seniors Lanson Parry and Bryton Reves and junior Zach Frank all played valuable minutes. The Chargers lost their top two scorers from last season. “With a lot of minutes returning, it should pay dividends when it comes to state and substate,” Ulsaker said.
Oliver is the team’s highest returning scorer with 11.6 points per game. Oliver also earned all-league honors last season.
The team welcomes two new assistant coaches, Tim Klein and Al Mock. Klein has previously coached at Hoxie and Abilene.
The goal for the season is to get better everyday and not be out-toughed. “Coach Klein always says to get 1 percent better everyday. A goal for myself is to never get out toughed. That’s something I hang my hat on. Strive to be the tougher team,” Ulsaker said.
“There are a lot more seniors. We have some dudes that understand our offense. I have 8 or 9 guys that I trust to get in the game to run our offense and play defense how I want them to play defense,” Ulsaker said.
The team opens its season tonight against Northern Heights, and continues Thursday against Frankfort and Friday against Manhattan CHIEF in the Wabaunsee Invitational Tournament.