CORRECTIONVILLE - River Valley coach Dean Norris greeted just three returning lettermen who will have to provide leadership and experience for the youthful Wolverines' boys basketball team this season.
That trio is a talented group consisting of senior point guard Mark Peterson, and junior centers Zak Gander and Blaine Cullen. Gander is the tallest player this year at 6-3, and Cullen, at 6-1 is the second tallest Wolverine, so River Valley must compensate for that lack of height with hustle and agression all over the court.
Other players who will impact the Wolverines this year include freshman Brennan Riedemann and a solid corps of juniors, including Brody Riedemann, Jeremy Gebers, Austin Moeller, and Drew Payne. Seniors Luke Wilen and Todd Bauer, along with sophomores Ethan Brown and Josh Pansegrau also will vie for varsity action.
Coach Norris lists hard working players as a major team strength, and also cites the post play of Gander and Cullen, who saw a lot of varsity action last season, along with Peterson, the first off the bench as a junior last year.
Team shortcomings, according to the coach, are youth, depth and inexperience.
Norris is assisted this season by Rob Hullinger.
CORRECTIONVILLE - With no seniors on the squad and their tallest player at 5-10, the 2010-2011 River Valley girls basketball team and coach Matt Jenness must rely on hustle and heart this season in the rugged Western Valley Conference.
The Wolverines will be led this season by a solid junior nucleus, including shooting guard Kari Ludvigson, power forward Brittany Hunwardsen, point guard Mackenzie Fitch, point guard Brittany Shropshire, small forward Lexie Chester, power forward Allie Byers, and small forward Jacie Jepsen.
In addition to that talented cast, River Valley will receive input from four promising sophomores, including shooting guard Bailey Fitch, shooting guard Brianna Colshan, shooting guard Alyssa Georgeopoulis, and power forward Kristin O'Connell.
The Wolverines' tallest players are Byers as 5-10, and Hunwardsen at 5-9.
IKM-Manning, Class 2A #1 rated OA-BCIG, Lawton-Bronson, and Logan-Magnolia are pegged as the teams to beat in the sprawling, rugged Western Valley Conference.