PAULLINA - Last year's South O'Brien boys basketball team team was 8-2 in the rugged War Eagle Conference to finish second with a shiny 17-5 overall record.
This season, with no returning starters, veteran coach Kiley Yates says, "We'll improve as the season goes along. We definitely lack varsity experience."
This season's roster includes seniors Sam Weber, Matt De Vos, Kody Nelson, Kody Petersen, Daniel Harden, Luke Hoger and Andrew Weaver; junior Bret Puhrmann; and promising sophomores Dallas Jalas, Brice Goosen and Jordan Wohlert.
Yates sees major team strengths as balanced scorng, good athletes, hard workers, great attributes, and good defense.
Among his team's shortcomings include an admitted average rebounding prowess and that lack of any returning starters that could leave a void in team leadership and experience so heavily counted on in team sports such as basketball.
Yates will be assisted this season by coaches Drew Triplett, DJ Hansen, Jim Wagner, and Allen DeVos.
PAULLINA - Three returning starters are among eight letter winners back to bolster the South O'Brien girls basketball team this season, under the direction of coach Derrick Rensink.
Other letter winners sure to impact the Wolverine varsity squad include Rebekah Jenness, Terran Ebel, Mikayla Hintz, Emma Sweeney, and Leta Wester.
Among promising newcomers coach Rensink will be counting on are sophomores Olivia Sickelka, Jenna Heemstra, and Brett Struve.
"We have a lot of girls who are willing to put in the time to get better. The team attitude is great, and the work ethic to want to be great has been tremendous," said Rensink.
"Another strength we will have is we have girls with a lot of experience, and girls who have played for us in the past at a young age. We've had some injuries in the past, but with everyone hopefully healthy this year will lead to a lot of girls who have experience, and are able to step up to the next level."
Rensink is assisted this year by veteran coach Dana Vige, and Kevin Poeckes.