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November 7, 2013     Tri-County News
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PAGE 8 ::, ............. ,.tricountyne.n Thursday, November7,2013 W,nter Sports Preview :. Area teams anxious for 2013-14 campaign / Pat Garry Paynesville/EV-W gymnast,cs Writer the seventh-grade team was 12-0. The coaching staff for Former assistant Jennifer Mrozek, of the Paynesville/ As the temperature outdoors begins to drop, the high school sports action moves indoors. With area athletes chomping at the bit to get the winter competition under- way, coaches are optimistic and look forward to successful journeys as the new season rapidly approaches. EV-W boys' basketball Returning two leading scorers and first-team all- conference members Bret Mattice (15 ppg.) and Jared Streit (13.2 ppg.), the Eden Valley-Watkins boys' basketball team sports plenty of leadership. "With those two players. returning, we should have two great leaders on and offthe floor. Other than that, we don't have a lot of varsity expe- rience coming back, with losing five seniors who played a lot of minutes, so we will have to develop 66 as a team and hope- fully learn what it takes to win," coach Adam Langer said. The Eagles ended last year on a high note, winning five of their last eight, including a home playoffvic- tory, their first play- off win since the 2007-08 expedition. "Hopefully we can 99 carry that momen- tum into this sea- son. Our conference will be pretty bal- anced, and I think B-B-E is the favorite coming in, with the rest of the teams battling it out for second through eighth," added Langer. This year's athletes vying for play- ing time: Nick Pauly, senior; Alex Nesenson, senior; Dion Hirman, senior; Bret Mattice, junior; Jared Streit, junior; Austin Schlangen, junior; Tyler Neu, junior; DeShaun James, sophomore; Travis Thielen, sopho- more; Reese Jansen, freshman; Jacob Streit, freshman. Jared Streit also led the conference in rebounding with 11.3 per game. - Coach Adam Langer EV-W girls' basketball Eden Valley-Watkins girls' basketball coach Tom Jan- sen did an outstanding job last year, finishing unde- feated (14-0) in conference play, with an impressive 21-5 overall mark. Key players lost to graduation include con- ference player of t.he year, center Courtney Dilley, and guards Missy Kummet and Holly Schumacher. All three ladies received first team all-conference honors for their exceptional efforts. The lady Eagles have some big shoes to fill this year, but Coach Jansen and the entire ros- ter, are confident of achieving a successful venture. Kimball girls' basketball This year's freshmen are Madison Hurrle, Stephanie Hurrle, Emma Kuechle, Katelyn Loehrer, Caitlyn O'Brien, Alexa Ruehle, Emily Utecht, and Alyssa Zabinski. - Coach Jeremy Kuechle Last season the Kimball Area girls' basketball team was rich with experience; Breane Meierhofer, Raelynn Callander, Kenadi Mackereth, Paiten Schreiner, Alissa Jones, Casie Mackereth, Kaylee Petty, Malina R6ttgermann, and Allie Seth. Of the  total 1,119 points tal- II lied by the Cubs last season, 1,031 were scored by this senior bunch. This year, the Cubs expect to have no seniors, and will look for the "young" personnel to step up. "Last season's soph- omore participants, now juniors, are Victoria Denn, Emily Donnay, Maddie Gasper, Danielle Helgeson, Kristina Kastanek, Madelyn O'Brien, Hannah Serbus, and Nicole Vossen. Of these play- ers, O'Brien brings sig- nificant varsity expe- rience with her," said Coach Jeremy Kuechle. The remain- ing roster includes Denzel Atherton, Rebeckah Holtz, Ariel Laabs, Erika Johnson, Lauren Libbesmeier, Madison Libbesmeier, Amanda Roerick, Taylor Schreiner, Abbey Straley, and Kaitlyn Truenow. Last season the varsity this season is Jeremy Kuechle, varsity; Joseph Stangle, junior varsity; Katie Pettit, C-squad; Eric Primus, eighth grade; and Amanda Wittenberg, seventh grade. The big- gest varsity holes to fill will obviously be those left by the graduating seniors. This will put the Cubs at a dis- advantage in terms of varsity game-playing experience but should also create a high level of competitiveness for those varsity positions to be filled. "The Kimball girls' basketball program has a lot of young talent coming up through the ranks, so this season should be a very excit- ing one at all levels. I invite you to come out and show your school spirit at our events this season, as we look for- ward to these student athletes improving on the basket- ball court in 2013-2014," Coach Jeremy Kuechle said. Kimball boys' basketball Jay Klein is the Kimball Area boys' basketball coach. "We return three starters and five letter winners from last year's team; Cameron Hunt, Jarred Merchant, Joey Von Wahlde, Mathias Hennen, and Ben 66 Serbus, and we have a lot of experienced players coming back." With high hopes of being very compet- itive in every game, Klein thinks the Cubs have a chance to fin- ish in the top half of the conference. The section will be tough even though Kimball has dropped to divi- sion 1A for playoffs. "It would be great if we could be a top- three seed in the play- offs," Coach Klein said. Kimball Area is led by an experi- enced and knowl- edgeable coaching staff. Varsity Head Coach Jay Klein: 22 years coaching basketball; 12 years as a head coach; in his eighth year at Kimball. Junipr Varsity Coach Rick Hendrickson: sixth year as Kimball's assis- tant coach. C-Squad Head Coach Aaron Laabs: former player for Coach Klein and in his first year coaching. Our players worked hard during the off- season to prepare for the upcoming season. - Coach Jay Klein Eden Valley-Watkins wrestling The Eden Valley-Watkins wrestling team is well anchored by Coach Dan Berg. "Well we should have bet- ter expectations this year, even though we logt some key individuals in Zach Blonigen and Austin Peterson." The Eagles return two state entrants in Cain Renner and Luke Kuechle and three letter winners in Hunter Mathies, Tyler Donnay, and Grant Winter. Berg's expec- tations for his team include making the final four and get- ting a shot to make the finals. "So if you Individual goals for my wrestlers are to be better than you were the were a state entrant, maybe place this year, year before. make the state tour- nament, place higher in sections, place in 99 sections, or improve from last year." The Eagles' toughest com- petition is probably a very formidable ACGC squad in the section. Additionally, there are some key and very competitive wrestlers returning from Kimball, Osakis, and B-B-E. "It should be an interesting year, with some experienced guys coming back and also some newcomers starting out," said Coach Berg. "We have Matt Schindler, Tyler Dockendorf, Logan Donnay, John Salzl, and Lyle Miller, back from last year's team and many others that will contribute," added Berg. The Eagles' grapplers look to improve on a 7-9 record from last year, and look forward to hosting their first ever Elementary Wrestling Tournament- Dec. 21. - Coach Dan Berg Eden Valley-Watkins gymnastics staff, is starting her sec- ond year as the team's head coach. "I have been coach- ing gymnastics at various levels for the previous 12 years at North Crest Activities Center in  St. Cloud. I wanted bb to continue teach- ing and growing the sport of gymnastics here in Paynesville and the surround- ing areas. I also run the Junior Bulldogs gymnastics program through Paynesville Area Community Education." P-EV-W loses three seniors and a junior from last year's squad, but this year's team is young, with lots of tal- ent coming up the ranks. "We will have Heather Arnold to lead the team this year, as she has been very powerful on vault and floor. Her consistency is cor- nerstone for the team," Coach Mrozek said. Arnold's var- sity teammates Emily Weidner and Alison Gottwald are young and also carry a lot of promising potential for the upcoming season. "As a whole we have a young team with a lot of potential, and with hard work and determi- nation, we will pull off a great season." said Mrozek. I am very excited to see what our young athletes can learn and how they perform at meets. - Coach Jennifer Mrozek Kimball wrestling Kimball wrestling lost four very talented seniors, in Marcus Hamer (38-8), with a fourth-place finish at state last year, Travis Wills (39-8), who was a state entrant, Austyn Schlueter (29-14), finished fift h in sections, and Tim Konz (31-9), who was also a state qualifier. But Coach Mike Schindler is very optimistic about the new season. "Even with the kids we lost to graduation, 66 we still return some great talent." Leading the way is return- ing state champ, junior Quinten Berres, who finished last season with a (39- 1) record. Quinten has the chance this year to be Kimball's first multiple-state champ, Junior Blaine Tschida finished with a record of (42- 5) and third place in the state tourna- ment. Blaine also was a National runner- up this year in Greco- Style, at Fargo. Also returning is senior Austin Schiefelbein, who came back late last year after a knee injury, to fin- ish the season (11-1) and a third-place finish in the sec- tion. Both of the Mehrs boys will be back and are expected to help lead the Cubs this year, as they each had more than 20 wins last year. The Cubs also return 17 other kids that saw varsity experience last year. "If we can stay healthy, we look to challenge Pierz for the CMC conference title and ACGC for the section 5A title," Coach Schindler said. "We did lose a lot of senior lead- ership, but with the group we have coming up, there will be a lot of opportunities for kids to Step up and con- tinue the success we have had," Schindler added. Last season we finished with a 21 - 13 overall record, a CMC championship, and Section 5A runner-up honors. - Coach Mike Schindler The 2013-14 high school winter sports season promises to be a highly competitive and fun-filled experience for participants and fans alike. Full schedules are available on the individual school's websites, or by visiting the Minnesota State High School League website at http://mshsl.org/mshsl/index.asp. Follow your favorite school sports right here in the .... Y!!i S