NEW ULM - Step up, young man, step up.
That's the predominant battle cry of every school that has an athletic team that's long on inexperience and short on guys who've been in the trenches.
Welcome to the New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds boys basketball team, circa 2012.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm Cathedral senior Jeff Osborne will man the point guard position for the Greyhounds this season.
The Greyhounds bring back only two players who have extensive competitive court time, senior point guard Jeff Osborne and senior forward Jake Stadick. That means there'll be plenty of opportunities for other players to come forth and try to make a statement to Cathedral fans and head coach Paul Hazuka.
"We're very inexperienced," Hazuka said. "We've got the two guys with lots of playing time and are filling in the pieces elsewhere. We don't really have a 'go-to' guy on the inside. That means we have to be efficient and make the most of our opportunities on offense."
Plus, with scoring machines in the Tomahawk Conference like Sleepy Eye St. Mary's and Cedar Mountain/Comfrey, the Greyhounds' defense may make more of an impact on a game's outcome than their offense.
"Defense keeps you in games," Hazuka said. "It's easier to be consistent on defense, We've only got six seniors and a junior, so we'll be playing some sophomores. But they're eager to play, we just have to teach them to be competitive."
And, speaking of sophomores, both Osborne and Stadick pointed out Jake Gangelhoff as one of the newbies who might be able to add some offensive firepower to the Greyhounds' attack.
But both players acknowledge they're the example for the rest of the team.
"We're going to expect a lot from the younger players," Stadick said. "We need them to play with intensity in practice and work hard. We're just trying to set a good example of how to play."
"We have to show the younger players a positive attitude," Osborne added. "We're expecting guys to step up. We're going to have to find other ways to score besides posting up."
The other seniors who might not have a ton of experience, but will be looked to for their maturity, are Ben Kittler, Michael Larson and Peter Herzog.
The Greyhounds' season begins on the road at Truman on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.