A downside is that the remaining letter winners and promising newcomers have seen little varsity action because of the graduated senior stalwarts that led Cherokee to a sparkling 22-3 record last season, including a 16-2 runner-up finish in the Lakes Conference, wth all three losses to Class 3A state runner-up Spirit Lake.
After posting an eye-opening 89-13 record the past four years, including two state tournament appearances, Cherokee will be participating in Class 2A this season.
Along with point guard Dilla, returning letter winners include senior posts Kayla Messerole and Lynn Leonard, senior wing Sarah Radke, and junior wing Lacie Drennan.
Other players who will impact the WHS varsity this season include senior Nancy Perrin, and juniors Nicole Hatch, Kelsey Essick, Shauna Drefke, Alison Husman, Jesselyn Racine, and Morgan Mahnke.
"We must replace three starters - Kayla Henke, Jess Hunecke, and Keeley Reynolds - who combined for 40 points per game," noted veteran Cherokee coach Curt Klaahsen, now in his ninth season at the Cherokee helm.
"We have a tough non-conference schedule, including games with Sioux City Heelan, and Battle Creek-Ida Grove. Spirit Lake is again the clear conference favorite, but the rest of the conference should be very competitive and there will be no easy games.
"Our keys to success will be to stay healthy, find ways to score, and continue to play with great intensity and enthusiasm."