Boys bball preview

Boys’ basketball team hopes experience leads to success

By Hayden Clow

The 2023-24 Sacred Heart boys basketball team consists of (front row, from left) Hayden Clow, Connor Nelson, James Froeschl, Joe Simon, Jack Stice, Gavin Clow, Charlie Rottinghaus, (back row) Kayden Groth, Brenden Lemerond, Toby Baxter, Trayce Stutheit, Cooper Knobbe, Alex Madsen, Cole Taft and Kyler Sipple.

The 2023-24 Irish boys’ basketball team is hoping for success this season after being stopped by Parkview Christian for the past two years in the playoffs. Players, coaches and fans all have high expectations for the team and hope their experienced seniors will give them a leg up on their competitors. “My goal for this team is to develop and become one of the top teams in our class,” head coach Doug Goltz said.

Five students graduated out of the program last year, however this season’s three seniors bring a lot of varsity experience. “Our three seniors need to lead us,” Goltz said, “That means taking ownership of all that we do, being great leaders on and off the court, and being positive and vocal with each other and for sure with the rest of their teammates.”

Senior Joe Simon has started varsity since his sophomore year and averaged 13.5 points per game last season in addition to blocking a total of 36 shots. Senior James Froeschl averaged 4.4 points per game and senior Jack Stice was at 8.1. “I’m excited for this year’s team, and I like the potential we have,” Stice said, “I hope our guys can step up and play their roles.”

In addition to the seniors, the team will also return three players with varsity experience in sophomores Brenden Lemerond, Cole Taft and Cooper Knobbe. “For this team in particular, we need to have some younger guys step up right away and show they can play varsity defense and play with confidence and poise,” Goltz said.

After a 58-20 win at the season opener in the Roh Activity Center against the Sterling Jets, the team is off to the start they wanted. Stice led the team with a total of 14 points, and Simon contributed 19 rebounds.

The team hopes to keep momentum throughout the season and eventually achieve their goal of another trip to the state basketball tournament in February. “To have success we will need to develop mental toughness and an attitude of wanting to be coached,” Goltz said, “If those things happen, we will have a good year.”