ALTA - It looks to be a rebuilding season for the Alta-Aurelia boys basketball team this year with no starters returning and just one letterman back to join coach Randy Bissen's squad.
Those promising players include seniors Colton Ballantyne, Nathan Flaherty, Titus Letzring, and Tyler Larson; juniors Jayden Van Berkym and Mitchell McDonald; and sophomore Ross Friedrich.
"We have a lot of guys that are competing for the five varsity spots which makes practice fun and competitive," noted coach Bissen.
"The team is really working hard and trying to improve each day. I think we will have good depth which will enable us to run and play fast. I have a good group of players that work well together and are very unselfish."
Last season, the Warriors posted a 12-10 overall record and finished 5-5 in the Twin Lakes Conference.
Bissen will be assisted by Dean Lietz, Chris Reinert, and Todd Friedrich.
With that trio poised to provide the experience and leadership for this year's Warriors, coach Payne will be relying on significant contribution from several top prospects impacting the varsity squad, including seniors Gracie Winterhof, Steph Robbins, Katie Turnquist, and Kelsie Snyder; junior Tayler Rohwer; sophomore Jenna Snyder; and freshman Micah Barnes.
Among his team's strengths, Payne sees depth as a positive, with several players capable of contributing at the varsity level. team shortcomings to be addressed in the coming days are adapting to a new offensive and defensive system, and a height disadvantage in the post.
Payne also sees team unity and the leadership qualities of six seniors, all unselfish, team-oriented players who can pay immediate dividens.
Last year the youthful Warriors posted a 4-18 overall record and they look to improve on that mark considerably this season.
ALTA - The Alta-Aurelia Warriors wrestling squad will try to improve on last season's 7-23 record with a good mix of experience and newcomers this season. Coach Mike Fry says the team's success will depend a lot on staying injury free and how the team's new members learn and work throughout the season.
In addition to incoming freshmen, the Warriors' team will have two wrestlers who came from other schools, Christian Jarvis and Dylan Ohlson, and the coaches feel the newcomers will have good leadership they can look up to.
The Warriors wrestle in the strong Twin Lakes Conference, and Fry feels that Manson-Northwest Webster, South Central Calhoun and Pocahontas Area should all be tough again this winter.
Fry and his fellow coaches Lou DeRoos, John Stange and Bradley Gustafson will focus on their wrestlers "learning their techniques, working hard and getting better everyday," adding that "the matches and other goals will come into play down the line."
Fry firmly believes that one of the Warriors' team strengths is their work ethic, saying, "The guys come to practice every day and work extremely hard. If they keep that up, good things will happen."