Posted On: 09/20/18 2:58 PM

If you’re looking for one benchmark of consistency in the Minnesota high school hoops scene, Lakeville North is a good sample.

Every year the Panthers step up with a mix of reloaded talent and athleticism and one of the best coaches to ever do it in John Oxton. Senior forward Tate Staloch has been a big piece of North’s success recently and will step into a larger role in the frontcourt in 2018-19.

When he’s not contributing for the South Suburban power, the 6-foot-6 forward is a WOTN summer staple and reflected on the experience positively. “I had an exceptional time this year and have every year with the WOTN program,” Tate said. “One of my favorite memories from the year was achieving the most wins by a team in the history of our program, and playing with people who truly feel like family.”

As the winter season approaches, Staloch and his high school teammates are anticipatory for hoops to say the least. “I think our team is incredibly excited about this upcoming season, we have a lot of really skilled guys who are willing to put work in to continue to improve. We have four returning players in myself, Tommy Jensen, Tyler Wahl, and Eli Mostaert,” Staloch explained.

The Panthers will be a top ten squad coming into December and are involved in many a tough matchup throughout the year, which once again will most likely culminate in a section final against Rochester John Marshall. That consistency I mentioned earlier? Exhibit A. “As far as expectations, we have our goal set from the beginning of the summer to continue our streak of section championships and then compete for a state Championship,” he added.

For Tate, personal improvement has been a priority so he can help his team keep winning. “Recently I’ve put an emphasis for myself on being a concentrated defender whether it be on the ball or helpside. Another goal for myself is to make sure I’m ready to play a guard spot this year in our offense and that’ll be by working on ball handling and consistent outside shooting,” he said.

Multiple schools like his inside-out offense and versatility guarding different positions. “I’ve talked with a lot of the MIAC schools including St. John’s, St. Thomas, St. Olaf, Hamline, Gustavus, and Macalester. Outside of basketball I received an offer from Southwest Minnesota State University for football.”