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Posted On: 03/27/18 11:57 AM
RTR is currently wearing their state title medals to bed and getting the star treatment around town. Soon it will be time to defend those medals. Who will be the top contenders? We look into it now.
Can the champs defend? Carter Hansen of RTR was the MVP of the tournament and he returns. Cooper Hansen seems ready for a bigger role as does Brett Kelley. All will be experienced seniors but there will be several holes to fill. Coming back this year RTR had a team full of experience leading to the state title. They will be in the mix but three or four guys with no varsity experience have to fill roles.
Top Contenders. North Woods will be there again. Cade Goggleye is turning into a star and Trevor Morrison looks like a big number double-double guy of the future. Chase Kleppe will step into a role as the third option which he seems to have the talent for and look out for sophomore-to-be Darius Goggleye. Springfield will once again be in the mix near the top with Isaac Fink – a top 10-12 level senior in state next year along with Decker Scheffler. They will not slop much. Mayer Lutheran losses a lot of talent but brings back their top all around player in Bade Noennig. The JV was good but they won’t be as deep.
Most Talented. Looking at the top teams and what they have returning, I don’t see a club that has the amount of talent that BOLD does. Nobody in Class A will have a guy like explosive 6-foot-8 Carter Henry and Gavin Vosika is about to be one of the more talented players in the 16u circuit this year. It’s more than that though. Drew Sagedahl has a flamer thrower while Jorda Sagedahl is a fantastic worker who scored 14 a game. Six of their top eight guys are back.
Can They Return to State? Cass Lake-Bena graduated some key players but Jarrell Jacobs, who will be a junior, seems like the next quality leader up there. Can Heritage Christian return? Who knows. So much of the top teams in 4A left last year that it’s pretty much a free for all. Three of the top four HCA players graduated but TJ Guggenberger is pretty good entering his upperclassmen years. Hinckley-Finlayson lost their star in Travis Visser but Anders Prater is a good player returning as is Lavone Kroschel. H-F will still be solid. Rushford-Peterson was strong in seniors although Landon Skalet led in assists and was second in scoring, his expectations will be high for his senior year. Luke O’Hare will be a sophomore for the Trojans and is about to have a nice career. The talent for R-P is still around as of course is the coaching.
Mahnomen/Waubun surely has a chance to be back. In fact they have a chance to be a legit contender. The Thunderbirds went to state with a bunch of kids playing together for the first time (two teams joining) and they only used one senior. Leading scorer Jayden Heisler and Treston Spalla scores in double digits each night. Parker Syverson, Jon Starkey, and Buster Walker all had strong years and all will be seniors next year plus they have some really good underclassmen coming up that have a chance to play some as well. A definite team to watch.
Next Up. Who has the talent to make a run and/or be a top ten team in state? Ada-Borup was a 20+ game winner and with Mason Miller back inside they could be very good. Spring Grove is set for another “it” year with Alex Folz and Ethan Matzke returning for their senior seasons. New Ulm Cathedral surprised many with their 20 win season and they bring almost everything back including Jon Zinniel and Alex Hillisheim. Parkers Prairie with Travis Yohnke, Jake Kettner leading Minnesota Valley Lutheran, and Karsten Broadley leading Fosston, each of those teams had good years and could have great years with the top player back.
Finally we leave you with another team that we feel could have the experience to make a state run, Minneota. They lost four games all year and bring back all of their main pieces including Thomas Hennen, a 20 point per game scorer as a junior, Jacob Hennen who was fantastic as a freshman, and Logan Sussner, a sophomore who was tough in the paint. Watch out for these Vikings next season.
It’s early, especially in Class A where there is a lot of research to be done to see who has talent back from solid teams around the state. When the first Class A rankings come out they will likely have some new teams but the sheer amount of teams around the state means a few days of research will be needed. Which is why this is a First Look.