By Kelsie Hoitomt
GLENWOOD CITY — After ending their season with a nine game winning streak and then a loss to Mondovi in the second round of Regionals, the Topper boys basketball team returns with fire under their shoes.
The Toppers lost two significant members of their team to graduation; Richard Ross and Nick Mrdutt, but they return starters and seniors Todd Petersen, Jake Hierlmeier, Marcus Kadinger, Bill Norenberg and Kip Wallace.
“We have a great deal of experience, leadership and production coming back this year,” said coach Tristan Kittilson. “We also have good depth this year with many players looking to get playing time.”
Their depth in players comes from eight seniors, six juniors, five sophomores and six freshmen.
Aside from the five above seniors, also returning to the team are seniors Tyler Woodruff and Brandon Barstad, juniors Nick Schone, Nathan Mrdutt, Matthew Wink, Nathan Hill, Joel Ormson, and sophomores Allen Croes, Jeff Schone, Will Rosenow, Zack Abt and Nic Jensen.
New to the roster this season is senior Jared Kupper, junior Kenny Vang and freshmen Quinn Taylor, Jake Nelson, Jake Kopacz, Riley Schutz, Peter Hill and Kyle Myers.
This Topper team finished 13-11 overall last year and 8-8 in the Dunn-St.Croix Conference for a fourth place standing.
“We are looking to build off of a strong finish from last year with another winning season,” said Kittilson of their statistical goals. “Also looking forward to earning a conference championship and a deep run in the playoffs.”
This is Kittilson’s second year as head coach for the Toppers. He will be assisted by David Popko who will also be the junior varsity head coach.
Kittilson shared that in the conference, the Toppers’ top competitors look to be Colfax and Elmwood/Plum City.
“Colfax brings back almost its entire team from last year and Plum City/Elmwood will be combined for the first time this year and will have a strong group of players,” he explained.
The Toppers will in fact start their conference season with a game against their Regional victor, Mondovi. They will play Tuesday, December 9 at home with the game starting at 7:30 p.m.
Following that, they will be on the road to Plum City for a game against the co-op team on Friday, December 12.