Posted On: 11/6/18 3:10 PM
Charles City (18-5)
The conference’s preseason player of the the year resides on the Comets’ roster, that’s senior guard Jackson Molstead. Aside from the seedy and skilled point guard, the top three scorers from a season ago are now graduated. Look for junior Bradley Andrews to help Molstead try and fill the void left by those three.
Last year’s leading scorer Clayton Ollendieck is now graduated, but the next two top scorers are back. Senior Nathan Martinek could be the main-man this season in Crestwood, he averaged 9.2 points per game last season. Fellow senior Zackary Lane also averaged 9.2 points a season ago. Sophomore Carter Henry could have a breakout winter.
Last year’s 11-win team was senior-dominant, leaving this winter’s Vikings squad with a largely new look. Nick Bockman led the team in scoring last year, and another Bockman, junior Pat, could lead the team this season. Pat is the returning leading scorer for the team, and could led them in scoring and assists this season.
Dom Robertson has spent the last couple seasons terrorizing opponents, and that will not change this winter. He’ll be the best player for the Huskies, who will look to greatly improve upon their dismal five-win season. We like their chances, the top nine scorers — including Oelwein, Mason Meyer and Dillon Arndt — from a season ago return.
New Hampton (12-11)
Tristan Sweitzer’s season was cut short a season ago, and that senior-laden squad was able to muster a mediocre 12-win season. Sweitzer is back now for his senior season, and guys like Dillon Roberson and Nolan Howard should see their numbers balloon as they try and help Sweitzer get this team over the middling hump.
The Indians boast the conference’s leading returning scorer with Michael Sweeney, he’s a senior now and will light it up this season, undoubtedly. The rest of last season’s team was senior-laden, and it’ll be up to sophomore Creed Welch to help fill the void left by those graduated players.
Waverly-Shell Rock (19-8)
Always good, the Go-Hawks are one of the elite few in the state that, no matter who graduated the season before, will be among the state’s best. It so happens that two of the Go-Hawks’ top three scorers return, that’s Luke Velky and Mosai Newsom. They both excelled with the football team this fall, and now shift their focus to getting back to the state tournament for the sixth time in the last seven years.
Projected Order of Finish
1 Waverly-Shell Rock
2 Charles City
5 New Hampton
This is a tough conference, there’s no bad teams here. There is a clear-cut favorite, though, and no surprise, that’s Waverly Shell-Rock. A program that has played in the state tournament in five out of the last six years, somebody will have to knock them off until we pick against them; and with two their top players back from a season ago, this is not the year when they fall from grace.
Preseason Player of the Year
Jackson Molstead, Charles City — 2019
Not just the best guard in the conference, but one of the best overall guards in the state, Molstead is a guy who could post bigger numbers than just about anyone this season. He’s been a high-output player since he was a freshman with the Comets, and there’s no reason the believe the state’s 31st -ranked 2019 won’t post huge numbers this winter.
Creed Welch, Waukon — 2021
With most of last season’s top scorers gone from Waukon, there will be new opportunities for young guns to come in and put up some numbers. And It looks like sophomore Creed Welch will be the guy who can see his production increase the most. Last season, as a freshman, he averaged 5.4 points per game, and did so with some pretty good shooting percentages (sometimes freshmen struggle to shoot the ball). This season, we expect his numbers to spike considerably.