Nodaway-Holt was well stocked with veterans last season as they started five seniors, so with a new season comes the challenge of trying to replace all of that experience and build around a new young core.
Replacing D.J. Beaderstadt, Tad Smock, Tucker Schwebach, Cole Alloway and Tyler Steele all in the same season is a tough task for second-year head coach Derek Lemon, but the Trojans have plenty of young players eager to try and fill their shoes.
“Obviously we had all those seniors last year so we are going to have fresh new starters,” Nodaway-Holt senior Zane Weston said. “We are looking for people to step up and you have to have that determination and want-to.”
One of those young players is sophomore guard Brilyn DeVers, who is likely to spot into the point guard role that Schwebach had last season. Schwebach was a Second-Team All-275 Conference selection so DeVers is happy that he got the opportunity to learn from him last season.
“We are going to be really fast this year,” DeVers said. “We have a lot of speed on our team. ... Our confidence is really high and I think everyone in our starting five has as much confidence in the next person as they do in themselves.”
The backcourt should be a strength for the Trojans this season with senior Zane Weston and junior Will Peter also back from last season.
“We are a lot faster than we were last year,” Peter said. “We have a lot of speed on our side and we can probably out-run a lot of teams.”
The frontcourt is more up in the air heading into the season, but sophomore Colton Hankins and junior Damion Marxer each brings some size to the position.
Other returners from last season’s roster include sophomore Hunter Clement and junior Tommy Dye.
The Trojans will open the season in next week’s Mound City Tournament where they will open with top-seeded Mound City on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Nodaway-Holt is prepare to go into the season as the underdogs though and they embrace the challenge.
“I am trying to prove everyone that we are actually better than what they think we are going to be,” DeVers said. “We are not just going to be the low man on the totem pole for the next couple years. We are actually going to be a lot more competitive than everyone else thinks.”