The South Nodaway Longhorns boys basketball teamed finished middle of the pack as far as conference goes. They also reached the district semifinals but were beat out by Mound City. The team finished last season 14-10 with a 10-3 conference record.
That’s not good enough for eighth-year coach Dustin Skoglund.
With the mix of returning veterans like Taylar Freemyer and Logan Harlan, and young and hungry players looking to find their spot on the court, South Nodaway has the potential for a better finish.
Freemyer earned All-Conference and All-District last season while Harlan averaged 12 points per game. The two will be looked to as the example coming into the new season.
“We will lean on our veterans and athleticism early in the season,” Skoglund said. “If healthy, I think we will have every opportunity to be a quality team down the stretch.”
Harlan, Auston Henggeler and Jordan Murphy are the three seniors followed by a large group of juniors. The juniors are Mason Kelmel, Michael Burke, Cade Henggeler, Dakota Coffman, Haden Beggs, Freemyer, Clayton Walker, Tanner Davis and Kole Kramer, though Kramer will be unable to play due to an injury.
While not every one of the upperclassmen have seen ample amounts of playing time, they’ve been around long enough to know the program and Skoglund’s expectations of the players. They will teach sophomores Connor LaBryer and CJ Sipes and freshmen Gabe Nothstine and Vincent Holtman those expectations in order to create the possibility of a deep roster.
“We’re hoping to create a good mix of veterans and newcomers,” Skoglund said of what his dream team would consist. “We have a couple of returning scorers, but that’s combined with a long and athletic supporting cast.”
Skoglund said he’s looking to Freemyer, Harlan and Cade Henggeler as team leaders.
“These guys have some experience on a relatively inexperienced team,” he said. “I’m comfortable with these guys making good decisions and leading the way.”
Skoglund added that his goals are for the team to finish well in tournaments, compete for the top of the conference, and be ready to make a run come district play.
The Longhorns will get their shot at competition soon with a hosted matchup against King City on November 21 followed by the Platte Valley Invitational Nov. 27-Dec. 2 where they will face a number of area teams.