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Wolverines have three returning starters on 2011-12 cage squad

Photo by Brian Hansel Ryan Redfield (15) is one of Wadena-Deer Creek's returning starters this season.

Tom VanErp has some important pieces in place for the start of the 2011-2012 basketball season.

The head coach of the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines has three returning starters on his roster. Back for the coming campaign are senior shooting guard Ryan Redfield, senior center Ben Birch and junior point guard Evan VanErp.

Redfield not only shoots well from the perimeter according to VanErp, he is a tough competitor and led the team in charges taken last year.

Birch, who 6-4 is the team's tallest player, has good speed for a post and will give the Wolverines a strong rebounder. VanErp is good at shooting and moving the ball and he also sees the floor well.

Senior Jeremy Sherman is back and VanErp rates him as WDC's best defensive player.

"He will be asked to guard our opponent's best perimeter player almost every game," VanErp said.

Other lettermen back in the fold are seniors Jacob Salge and Matt Paulson. Salge is a heady defensive standout while Paulson gives the team scoring punch and leadership.

The Wolverines will also have eighth-grader Andrew VanErp, senior Brandon Lorentz, sophomore Jacob Goeden, sophomore Isaac Laughlin, senior Dan Berger, junior Matt Laughlin, sophomore Dylan Dumpprope, junior Keith Paulson and junior Joey Price on their varsity roster.

VanErp mixes excellent ball-handling skills with good shooting. Lorentz does his best scoring from the perimeter. Goeden is an "up and comer" at point guard with smarts, ball skills and a good work ethic. Isaac Laughlin runs the floor well but will see most of his time with the JV team as he works on his post game. Berger is a new man on the team with raw skills but VanErp likes his jumping ability. Matt Laughlin will be called on to play multiple positions. His best skills show up on defense and under the hoop. Dumpprope gives the Wolverines a good shooter and athlete with some interesting potential. Keith Paulson stands 6-3 and will give the Wolverines a presence inside. Price will play guard and is considered a good team player.

The Wolverines were 9-16 last year and 5-5 in the tough Mid-State Conference. Graduation cost them scoring and rebounding kingpin Jordan Reed.

"We are a much different team this year, much shorter, but with more speed," VanErp said.

Detroit Lakes is VanErp's favorite for Mid-State honors this season. Crosby-Ironton and Pequot Lakes will also field strong clubs. The top contenders in Section 8AA are Perham and Pelican Rapids.

The Wolverines are slated to open at home Dec. 13 with Pine River/Backus.