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by Kristine Giammattei
BOYCEVILLE — The Boyceville Bulldog boys’ basketball team is ready to bring a new attitude and refreshed effort to the court this year following a tough 2020-21 season, ending the season with a 0-13 Dunn-St. Croix (D-SC) Conference record and just one non-conference victory.
Entering his third season as head coach, Colby Dotseth looks forward to continuing to build the team this year. Dotseth is accompanied by assistant coach Jacob Peterson, who returns for his second consecutive year with the Bulldogs.
With its three top senior scorers and rebounders – Connor Sempf, Walker Retz, and Connor Larson – graduating last spring, the Bulldogs aim to build their returning players’ experience and confidence.
“You never have a goal as a team of reaching only one team win, so we need to put last year behind us and start fresh with a different attitude and effort this season,” coach Dotseth said.
Returning letterwinners include juniors Mason Bowell, Simon Evenson, Chase Hollister, Jack Phillips, and sophomores Grant Kaiser, Nick Olson, Braden Roemhild, and Caden Wold.
“These guys as freshmen and sophomores got their feet wet last year with varsity time, so just having already gained some experience from last season will be a big advantage for these guys’ confidence.”
With the season swiftly approaching, Dotseth is looking forward to returning stats leaders Nick Olson, who scored 3.8 points per game (ppg) last year, Caden Wold 3.4 ppg, and rebounders Jack Phillips 3.4 rebounds per game (rpg) and Chase Hollister 2.4 rpg.
“All the returning letter winners will see a significant increase in varsity time, and they have the potential to take advantage of it and compete at the varsity level after they all got time last year on JV also and the JV was very competitive last season,” Dotseth remarked. “The four juniors all had the ball in their hands a ton this summer and it has shown early on in practice.”
Dotseth went on to say that Olson, Wold, Kaiser, and Braden Roemhild led the JV in scoring last year, so the team will need them to step up and help with the balance scoring for the varsity.
Dotseth is also pleased with the team’s chemistry, as many of the returning players have played together for a long time and have all improved in their athletic ability compared to the previous season.
“We don’t have a go-to scorer, which I think will be very beneficial as any number of guys has a chance of going off in any game this year,” Dotseth stated.
As far as weaknesses go this year, Dotseth’s main challenge is not having a designated leader and floor general out on the court but has goals as a team to start the season fresh and compete in close games, which will in turn create a winning culture for the team.
“Defensively, we really need to change our attitudes and efforts because at both the junior varsity and varsity levels last season there were games where we just didn’t play well and gave up too many easy opportunities,” Dotseth observed. “We want to take away the easy opportunities and make things difficult on our opponents. This team is very hungry to change the culture of the program.”
Dotseth explained that many teams in the Dunn-St. Croix are returning with their core of players from last season and will be senior heavy. He sees this as being another very competitive season in conference, with Spring Valley, Elk Mound, and Durand being the top contenders.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to start the season this Tuesday at home when they host Independence, followed by a road game in Gilmanton the Monday after Thanksgiving.
Juniors: Mason Bowell, Simon Evenson, Chase Hollister, and Jack Phillips
Sophomores: Parker Coombs, Devin Halama, Grant Kaiser, Zach Kersten, Nick Olson, Braden Roemhild, Peter Wheeldon, and Caden Wold
Freshmen: Dominic Anderson, Nate Jensen, Talen Kietzer, Carson Lindstrom, Aidan Madison, Michael Montgomery, Blaine Severson, and Alan Sorensen