Category: Season Previews

Tabor women retooling for start of KCAC schedule
Tabor women retooling for start of KCAC schedule

Tabor women retooling for start of KCAC schedule

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The Tabor College women have compiled a 1-8 record through a tough preseason. First-year head coach Shawn Winter is looking for some success when the KCAC season opens Thursday, Nov. 29, against Bethany College. Pictured above are: back row (from left) manager Kelsey Bloss, manager Whitney Allen, manager Cherise Strangohr, Chelsea Malone, Erin Runge, Brittany Roth, Jenny Glaskell, Katie Fast, Jordan Crosson, Haley Parsely, Dana Champlin, Addie Cole, assistant coach Landon Jordan, head coach Shawn Winter; front row, Erin Dragoo, Abby Claassen, Stephanie Silvas, Kristen Allen, Cassondra Huxman, Joanna Pyle, Stacie Herman, Kristen Watson, Cheri Mount, Amanda McDonald, Brianne Greene, Katie Mount.

A season ago, the Tabor College women?s basketball team put together a 26-6 record, including a 15-3 mark in conference play, and defeated Cardinal Stritch in the first round of the NAIA Division II national championship tournament.

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Peabody-Burns boys’ depth, height fuel team potential
Peabody-Burns boys’ depth, height fuel team potential

Peabody-Burns boys’ depth, height fuel team potential

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In Roger O?Neal?s third season at the helm of the Peabody-Burns boys? squad, the Warriors have an experienced rotation that goes nine deep. Mastering team defense will be key to the team?s success. The seniors and lettermen on the squad are: back row (from left), Adam Benson, Duane Unruh, Nathan Bishop, Trevor Hamm, Andrew Loucks; front row, Brian Wingert, Jake Middleton, Jacob Simmonds and Aaron Topham.

Entering his third season coaching the boys? basketball team at Peabody-Burns High School, Roger O?Neal has a well-rounded group of seniors.

Ranging from 5-foot, 10-inch guard Duane Unruh, who averaged just under nine points per game last year, to 6-9 Andrew Loucks, O?Neal will have a solid starting lineup.

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Warrior girls have experienced core, but limited depth
Warrior girls have experienced core, but limited depth

Warrior girls have experienced core, but limited depth

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The Peabody-Burns girls have seven seniors and letter-winners returning: (from left) Tabitha O?Neal, Becky Morris, Danielle Savage, Traylee Woodruff, Jessica Gillet, Julie Wedel and Bayleigh Clark. Andrew Ottoson / Free Press

The good news for the Peabody-Burns High School girls? basketball team is that coach Darren Schroeder begins his fifth season with a core of seven returning seniors and letter-winners largely intact.

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Burhoop will lead Centre girls as only returning starter
Burhoop will lead Centre girls as only returning starter

Burhoop will lead Centre girls as only returning starter

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The Centre High girls? basketball team has six seniors and letter-winners back from a team that went 17-5 in Kelly Steiner?s first year as coach. They are: back row (from left), Brooke Carlson, Justine Jennings, Kylie Burhoop; front row, Samantha Alvarez, Amy Hajek and Shelby Deines.

The Centre High School girls? basketball team enters its second year under Kelly Steiner having posted a 17-5 regular season record before flaming out against Hope in regional play in 2006.

In 2007, the Cougars will lean heavily on senior Kylie Burhoop to provide a veteran presence on the defensive glass.

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Cougar boys regroup amid tough Eisenhower League
Cougar boys regroup amid tough Eisenhower League

Cougar boys regroup amid tough Eisenhower League

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After posting an 8-13 overall record but going 4-2 in league play, the Cougars have five seniors and letter-winners returning this year. They are: back row (from left), Zach Slayden, James Weber, Michael Kaiser; front row, Ben Krause and Bryant Brunner. Andrew Ottoson / Free Press

In his second season coaching boys? basketball at Centre High School, Cody Schafer is looking at an Eisenhower League full of parity with a sense of opportunity.

But having lost the bulk of their scoring and four starters to graduation, the Cougars face an uphill climb.

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Bluebird boys’ quality depth bodes well for new season
Bluebird boys’ quality depth bodes well for new season

Bluebird boys’ quality depth bodes well for new season

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A balanced attack will help the Goessel Bluebirds as they try to follow up last year?s fourth-place finish in the state tournament with another solid season. ?Our scoring will be spread out and our five seniors will be counted on,? coach Justin Coup said The team?s seniors are: back row (from left), Seth Ott, Sam Lehrman, Nathan Ensz, Cameron Voth and Kurtis Duerksen. The Bluebirds also expect big contributions from junior lettermen: front row (from left) Travis Fensky, Austin Unruh, Kendall Voth and Craig Banman. Andrew Ottoson / Free Press

The Goessel High School boys? basketball team returns one starter from the squad that went 23-5, won the Heart of America league with a 10-1 record and placed fourth at the Class 1A state tournament a year ago.

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Goessel girls will do battle in HOA with young squad
Goessel girls will do battle in HOA with young squad

Goessel girls will do battle in HOA with young squad

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Experienced players Jennifer Raymond (left) and Aspen Frey will feature prominently for the Goessel girls this season. The same is true to a lesser extent of every player on the Bluebird roster of 11 players. First-year coach Ryan Hoopes said, ?They are a hard-working group of girls and very coachable.?

In the wake of a 10-13 season that saw the Bluebirds post a 5-6 Heart of America league record, the Goessel High School girls? basketball team lost its top five scorers.

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Eagle boys set on soaring high for third straight season
Eagle boys set on soaring high for third straight season

Eagle boys set on soaring high for third straight season

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Having graduated four major contributors from a 14-9 team, the Canton-Galva boys will lean heavily on returning starters Ted Regehr (left) and Andrew Westbrook (not pictured). The team also has a strong group of players stepping into larger roles, including junior Destin Nightingale (right).

Success breeds success, and the Canton-Galva boys? basketball team knows the saying is true from recent experience. For consecutive seasons, the Eagles reached the sub-state finals. The 2007 season begins with that achievement in full view?even though it will be difficult to repeat.

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Canton-Galva girls return core of last season?s success
Canton-Galva girls return core of last season?s success

Canton-Galva girls return core of last season?s success

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The core of the Canton-Galva girls basketball team is seven members deep. Avoiding injuries and foul trouble are keys for the Eagles. The team?s rotation is: (from left) back row Kaitlyn Bressie, Kaitlin Dailey, Kaycie Shearer; front row Shannon Williams, Kylie Haines, Allie Enns, Ashley Vogts.

The good news for fans of the Canton-Galva High School girls? basketball team is that the Eagles? core of players remains largely intact after a 14-win season.

With seven members of last year?s team ready to play again this season, coach Barry Fritz enters his fourth year at CGHS with a group that showed a knack for winning close games last year.

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Despite key voids, MHS boys should have better depth
Despite key voids, MHS boys should have better depth

Despite key voids, MHS boys should have better depth

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With six returning letterwinners, the Marion boys have a mix of experienced players and new players from last season?s 11-10 squad. The six letterwinners include three juniors and three seniors: back row, Luke Gordon, senior Justin Heidebrecht, Elliott Hett, senior Chase Carlson; front row, Mitchell Leppke and senior Calvin Jeffrey.? Andrew Ottoson / Free Press

After posting an 11-10 record on their way to fifth place in the Mid-Central Activities Associa?tion in 2006, the Marion boys come into 2007 with two very large holes to fill at the top of their roster.

Gone is Travis Hett, whose propensity for creating open looks off the dribble and knocking down difficult shots generated open chances for teammates.

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