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Loss of class of 2010 players leaves big hole season of rebuilding planned

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Loss of class of 2010 players leaves big hole season of rebuilding planned
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

When seniors are lost, there is always a hole left on a team. This year it is a little bigger than normal for the boy's Mustang basketball team.

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There wasn't just one or two players lost; there were many. A whole starting line up of them, shooters like Charlie Schuh and Alex Gehlert who both joined the 1000 point club last year. Players like Dalton and Caleb lindley who never quit.

These two didn't score as much but they were ever present. It is hard to lose these kinds of players.

Last year was a good year.

We made it past the first round but then we hit Mahnomen. They had a player who broke their school record for most points per game with 48. The record was 16-10.

When this happens, there have to be younger bodies to step up. This year's seniors are just the ones to do that.

This year is a tough year. Not only is it rebuilding but we have to travel farther. The new teams added to our schedule are Roseau and East Grand Forks.

These additions are due to Laporte not having a Varsity Squad this year because of numbers. Not due to a conference change but more so because of the fact that the teams around us are playing more of their conference teams to better be prepared for the playoffs.

Also coach, Bob Stueven wants as close to a full schedule this year as others. He said "We tried to get closer games but their schedules interfered.

Head Coach Stueven is back for a ninth season with the team. Three of them were on C team and the last six were on varsity. Coach Stueven sees several key games that he really wants to win this year.

He said, "Everyone has their own that they want, I want all the ones that we haven't beaten yet, like Nevis."

It takes a lot for a team to beat these teams but Coach Stueven has the confidence in his players that they can.

When I asked him, "Who are the new talents coming up that need training," he answered "Anyone under 20."

I asked Coach Stueven if there were any injuries. He said no, not that he knows of. So this, unlike football, is a good sign.

The football team came in with injuries galore and by the end they were getting healed.

To get the players' perspective on the upcoming season, I set out in search of a senior who has proven himself to his teammates before on the court and also on the football field.

I sought Jacob Gunderson because in the past he has proved to be a good leader. I've never seen him quit on his team. He is a play maker who is kind to the underclassmen while still being stern.

His strategy for winning this season will be simple. He said, "We are going to run and run some more."

His goal in this? He said, "We are going to go undefeated through Christmas."

There are four seniors returning this year and one new one. They are Jacob Gunderson, Zach Eintenmiller, Gregory Davinson and Travis Burns. New this year is Chris Kerns.

As for a team total, there are going to be about 23 players making up the junior varsity through varsity.

Coach Stueven is going to dress 15 of these players for varsity. He said that this number is a good number. There are not too many players that you can't have one-on-one time with them, but yet enough to have a good-sized squad and a strong team.

The Mustangs have a scrimmage on Saturday, Nov. 27 in Bigfork, but the first game of this season is on Friday, Dec. 3. It is against a conference team and one of the Mustangs' biggest rivals - the Blackduck Drakes.

Coach Bob Stueven hopes the scrimmage will give them a bit of an edge going into the season. He said, "We are going to be better prepared for Blackduck this year. Last year we couldn't go to the scrimmage in International Falls due to a huge snow storm."

This year is going to be a great year for all basketball players and fans. If you don't think so you should really go out and watch them play.

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Pioneer staff reports
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