Posted On: 10/24/18 8:00 AM

Wayzata has been to two straight state tournaments and will once again be one of the state’s top teams. Much of the attention is paid to one of the top backcourts in the state, but the Trojans have a lot of other really solid players. Connor Hale is one of those key cogs.

Hale, a 6-foot senior guard, averaged six points per game as a junior, providing steady play in relief and while sharing the floor with Jacob Beeninga and Luke Paulson.

Hale understands his role and excels in it.

“I always think my role will be to show the younger guys what it means to be a varsity player,” said Hale. “Kody Williams, Camden Heide, Eddie Beeninga – some really good young guys – I want to show them what it means to be a varsity player.”

Hale spent the grassroots season playing with Fury where he had a chance to play with several Wayzata teammates along with some new characters while testing himself against elite competition. He said that experience should help him and his teammates for this upcoming winter season.

“It was my first year playing with a true AAU team so it was a great experience,” Hale said. “It was great to find my way with guys I hadn’t played with before. I think I fit in well with those guys.”

Hale won’t be a featured offensive player for the Trojans. He’s not going to light up the scoreboard or put up silly numbers but he’ll certainly make a difference.

“I try to impact the game on defense,” said Hale. “I’ve got quick hands and long arms and I want to try to disrupt the opposing teams as much as I can. I’m not a ball dominant player. The difference I make tends to be off the ball, cuts, moving the ball around; that’s worked out well for me. I think that allows me to fit in with guys.”

Hale has drawn some interest from local college programs but he said his focus for post-high school life is finding a place that’ll fit his academic and social agendas. He said he wants to do something in business, marketing and possibly sports management.

With one more season of high school hoops, Hale is hoping he can help the Trojans have another successful season.

“I’m very excited, we have a lot of good guys coming back and some young talent coming up,” said Hale. “Our expectations stay the same. Obviously you want to go to state, win state, all that stuff but we have a lot of other goals and expectations along the way. We’ll just go in hoping to get better everyday, win a bunch of games and do the best we can.”