'A lot of new faces' for Wolves
Seven seniors graduated from Eagle River’s boys basketball team last season. So third-year head coach Fred Young will rely heavily on his five returners.
Those include Thomas Jones — the only returning starter — Collin Metzel, R.J. Dirscherl, Isaiah Banks and Cody Keith.
“We have a lot of new faces,” Young said of his 12-man varsity team.
The Wolves have experience, he said, but not varsity experience.
“They’re just learning how to play at the varsity intensity level,” Young said.
Playing in the Cougar Tip Off before Christmas break gave the team a good dose of varsity minutes.
“You should see how wide open their eyes are,” Young said.
Early on, Young said he’s stressing fundamentals and execution. As the season progresses, he said, Eagle River will improve.
The past two seasons, Eagle River has come up just short of making state — both times falling to West High in the third-place game of the Cook Inlet Conference tournament. Young expects his team to run in the middle of the pack this year. Limiting mistakes will be a big key for success, he said.
But the Wolves shouldn’t be overlooked, Young said.
“We’re gonna beat some teams we’re not supposed to beat,” he said. “That’s always my goal.”
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or firstname.lastname@example.org.