The Wadena-Deer Creek girl’s basketball team will begin their season Dec. 2 against Crosby-Ironton on the road.
Their head coach Jordan Cresap is in his fourth year with the squad, and sees plenty of potential going forward. Varsity assistant Wendy Gravelle (15th) also returns to prepare this year's team.
“I saw them all summer and I knew who was getting in the gym, and working on their craft,” Cresap said.
They lost one player from last year with Nevada Schulz graduating.
“She was a post player, just solid all around so we’ll have to replace her,” Cresap said.
Despite losing one, there are seven seniors returning this year, headlined by Madison Packer.
“She practices on her own all the time and shoots on her own. She’s kind of our main ball handler,” Cresap said.
Packer plays point guard for the team, and Cresap said she would be key to the Wolverine’s success this year. Two juniors who are coming off injury reserve this year are Mercedes Schulz and Ally Pavek. Pavek was on the bench last year with a hip injury, while Schulz had a knee injury.
Madison Carsten is another key component for the team, but has a history of injuries keeping her out of competition.
“Madison Carsten was one of our best playmakers or great defenders,” Cresap said. “She tore her ACL last spring, and then had a long road to recovery.”
A few months ago she tore her other ACL, and is out for the year after a surgery. The other girls will have to step up to fill her shoes.
Montana Carsten is a freshman Cresap said is likely to get time on the floor and have a breakout year.
The Wolverines will have eight more games this year bringing them to a total of 26.
Coach likes his team’s ability to stretch the floor and mentality to win games as being their defining characteristics.
“We have enough returners and enough (mix) of post players, shooting, ball handlers down there to where we can competitive in,” Cresap said,“We’ve got some competitors that know our system, and know what it takes to win games. Be in games no matter how much talent the other team has.”
With the key players ready to hit the courts, how does the coach prepare them for the upcoming season?
“Getting up and down the court. Get a lot of shooting in. Get back in basketball shape and go from there,” Cresap said.
From a coach’s perspective, it starts with beating teams at their own game.
“We start to (look into) game plan and watch some film and figure out what it’s going to take to beat or compete with those teams,” Cresap said.
“New York Mills returns most of their team from last year, '' Cresap said. ”Menahga also returns most of their team. They both have a lot of good players coming up, too.”
Looking further down the road, Fergus Falls and Breckenridge pose the biggest threats. The girl’s will look to bond together, develop chemistry, and shoot plenty of swishes this year as they gear up for another season of Wolverine basketball.