Posted 12/09/09 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
After making back-to-back trips to the State Class B Boys Basketball Tournament, the question of many Watford City fans is, “Can this year’s Wolves make it three in a row?”
And that is a question Randy Cranston, Wolves’ head coach, is not even going to try to answer right now.
“I feel we return a good group of players that have worked hard during the off-season and during the first couple weeks of practice,” states Cranston. “It will take some time for this group to gel as some of our players are going to be playing varsity for the first time.”
Cranston will only have two returning starters this season in juniors Nick Liebel, a 5’9” guard, and Trey Jacobson, a 5’10” guard.
“With Nick and Trey, we are going to be able to handle the ball well and I look to these two to help the rest of the players adjust to varsity play.”
“Reid Johnson, a 6’ senior, and Tyler Flatland, a 6’1” junior, are two players that saw time last year off the bench,” states Cranston. “Both are hard workers, but they will need to become consistent players and scorers for us as they will play a lot of minutes.”
According to Cranston, Shawn Fulwider, a 6’3” sophomore; Dillon Langerud, a 5’7” senior; Curtis Lohse, a 5’10” junior; Lucas Nicholson, a 5’10” sophomore; Jesse Weber, a 5’8” senior; Jason Shipman, a 6’1” junior; and Chans Brown, 5’10” senior, are also players that will work for starting spots and/or playing time.
“These guys will be a big part of our team as we will need to find some depth with the up-tempo game we are going to want to play,” predicts Cranston.
“As a team, we are going to be quick and be able to handle the ball well,” says Cranston. “But overall, we are going to be a shorter team.”
Another concern that Cranston has is the lack of varsity playing time.
“The lack of varsity experience could possibly lead to some ups and downs early in the season,” says Cranston. “But by tournament time, we should be a good team.”
Rounding out the players on this year’s varsity squad are Tyler Bates, a 6’1” freshman; Sterling Ross, a 5’10” junior; Sean Walker, a 6’1” junior; and Cole Rolfsrud, a 6’1” freshman.
“We play a tough non-district schedule which should test these inexperienced varsity players and have them ready come tournament time,” says Cranston.
According to Cranston, the top teams in District 15 will be Mandaree and Parshall, while Tioga will be the top team in District 16.
The Watford City Wolves will open their 2009-2010 boys basketball season on Dec. 11 when they host Ray at 7:30 p.m.