Tanagers ready for boys', girls' basketball seasons by Jim Prosser As the basketball season is upon us, here are the previews for both the boys' and girls' Tanager teams.
Jason Huska starts his third year at the helm of the boys' team. He is assisted by Jon Reuvers and Kelly Knutson.
Huska's varsity roster includes six seniors and six juniors. Three-year letter winner Nathan Boots leads the senior contingent, along with Adam Brunick, Tyler Brown, Dave Yutrzenka, Collin Prosser and Nathan Scheidel. The juniors are Chad and Chris Teigen, Ben Oberle, Matt Preszler, Kyle Mollet and Jason Donald.
"I believe our depth will be a strength for us as we could go eight to 10 deep into the roster," Huska said. "This group has some quickness and will provide some exciting basketball.
"Our weakness might be finding the right combination on the floor," he continued. "We have lots of talented athletes and with the right combo we should prevail. We play one of the tougher schedules in class A."
The opening week of the season is a tortuous five games in seven days.
Head girls' coach Jamie Parish is in his second year as the girls' leader. His assistants are Lennie Billberg and Heather Nelson.
Parish's expected starters will be Jackie Thomas (junior), Annie Carlson (juniro), Melissa Olson (junior), Michelle Olson (sophomore) and Annie Roche (freshman).
According to the coaches:
Thomas really began to shine at the end of her sophomore year. Her gritty defense and leadership helped through a lot of tough games. A second team all regional player and Big 8 Conference performer, we look forward to more good years with her.
Carlson, our other returning starter, showed promise throughout the year. Melissa and Michelle Olson are two special players to be ready for a breakthrough year. They are both post players who have pretty good perimeter skills.
Annie Roche played a lot of quality minutes as an eighth grader and will gain experience and become a bigger part of our offense and defense during the season.
Kayla Mollet and Natalie Johnson are two seniors who spent a lot of time in the gym this summer and are expected to contribute this season.
Other players with opportunities to play a role are: Ellen Odson (11), Alisha O'Connor (11), Paige Prosser (10), Heather Walker (10), Patricia Merrigan (10), Brittney Babb (10), and Brandee Bolman (10).
The girls open at home against Harrisburg with a triple header (ninth grade, JV, V) on Thursday, Dec. 11, the EPJ Classic on Saturday, Dec. 13, and another home triple header on Tuesday, Dec. 16 vs. Alcester-Hudson.