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Big on depth, little experience

By Staff | Nov 29, 2010

The 2010-11 Blue Earth Area boys basketball team. Front row, left to right: Taylor Olson, Dallas Barslou, Eric Purvis, Cole Klinksiek, Justin Elzenga, Connor Hanson and Paul Anzalone. Middle row, left to right: Brad More, Logan Jacobs, Brandyn Olsen, Jake Wagner, Denys Mantel, Riley Holmseth and Nick Beattie. Back row, left to right: Daniel Plocker, Taylor Olson, Brady Anderson, Sam Lee, Isaac Darrington and Steven Plocker. The team is coached by Gary Holmseth.

Practice officially started this past Monday for the Blue Earth Area boys basketball team.

But, as is true in most – if not all – high school sports these days, the boys haven’t waited for the beginning of the season to improve their game.

“The kids put in a lot of time and effort during the off-season to make themselves better players,” notes head coach Gary Holmseth.

A strong basketball program can instill that kind of desire.

The Bucs are coming off of a conference title last season, a year in which their overall record was 23-5. They won their Sub-section and were the Section runners up.

Look back over the last 20 years, and you will find that the Bucs have had only one losing season.

Yet, there are many obstacles to overcome this year.

Four of last season’s six top players graduated. There are only four returning letterwinners, so the team is short on varsity experience.

These “obstacles” also mean that there are opportunities for a number of players to step up and be an integral part of the team.

“That is probably our biggest challenge, to put the pieces together,” comments Coach Holmseth. “Losing four of our top six players from last year means that this year’s team will have a new face.”

There are 30 boys out for basketball this year in grades 9 through 12.

Among those are the four returning letterwinners; seniors Riley Holmseth, Daniel Plocker, Taylor Owen and junior Brady Anderson.

Others looking to see varsity action include: seniors Conner Hanson and Justin Elzenga; juniors Sam Lee and Jake Wagner; and sophomores Dallas Barslou, Isaac Darrington, Steven Plocker, Brandyn Olsen, Taylor Olson, Cole Klinksiek, Nick Beattie, Logan Jacobs and Brad More.

“Every year is different, but I’m about as excited this year as any other year,” Holmseth says. “We are going to have tremendous depth this year, which will probably be our greatest strength. Our goal is to be the most improved team in the Section by the end of the year.”

Coach Holmseth sees Fairmont and St. Peter as the conference favorites this year with Waterville-Elysian-Morristown and Kenyon as the favorites in the Section.

The Bucs open the season at Jordan, last year’s Section winner, on Dec. 4.