By Kelsie Hoitomt
GLENWOOD CITY- The Glenwood City boys’ basketball team will take the court this year with a new coach, an experienced team and a specific goal; to contend for a conference championship.
Taking over as head coach for the team is Tristan Kittilson, who is no stranger to the game as he was the junior varsity coach last year and was assistant coach two years prior to that.
This is also his fourth year as a fifth grade teacher at the Glenwood City Elementary.
Aside from Kittilson, seniors Nick Mrdutt and Richard Ross look to lead the Toppers to a winning record after the team finished 7-16 overall last season.
Mrdutt and Ross step into the role as leaders after Tyler Nueske, Matt Schouten, Tyler Johnson and Michael Johnson left due to graduation.
Ross finished as the leader in points-per-game (ppg) with 8.9 and Mrdutt followed with an even 8.0 in 2012-13. Both led in assists as well and Mrdutt also had the highest average in rebounds.
Also looking to be big assets to the team are juniors Todd Petersen, Marcus Kadinger, Jake Hierlmeier and Kip Wallace; each were letter winners last season as well.
Possible newcomers to the varsity team that have potential and previous basketball experience are Nick Schone, Joel Ormson, Lucas Myer and Billy Norenberg.
“We bring back a lot of experience and big contributors from last season, however several of the new players expected to step up, have little to no varsity experience,” said Kittilson of the team’s strengths and weaknesses.
According to Kittilson, their experience will be tested this year against Elk Mound and Mondovi as they are the top teams to look out for since they bring back the majority of their players.
The team is starting the season two games behind as the first game was scheduled on November 21, however due to an extended football season, practice and games were pushed back.
Now the Toppers will hit the court for their first game this Friday, December 6 to play in Elk Mound against the Mounders.
Elk Mound enters the season as the defending conference champions with a 16-0 conference record and a 23-1 overall record.
They will resume their posted schedule from then on, which means they will play their first home game on Thursday, December 12 with a start time at 7:30 p.m.
Seniors: Nick Mrdutt, Richard Ross
Juniors: Marcus Kadinger, Todd Petersen, Jake Hierlmeier, Billy Norenberg, Tyler Woodruff, Kip Wallace, Brandon Barstad
Sophomores: Nick Schone, Joel Ormson, Nathan Mrdutt, Lucas Myer, Matt Wink, Nathan Hill
Freshmen: Jeff Schone, Will Rosenow, Nick Jensen, Daniel Taylor, Allen Croes, Tony Melstrom, Zack Abt