NEW ULM - "New" and "improved" are two words that the New Ulm girl's basketball team are using in its vocabulary this season. New coach, new attitude and a return to the fundamentals would also describe this year's program.
Dan Reinhart is in his first year as coach at New Ulm. The 1984 NUHS graduate was head coach of the Saint James boy's varsity basketball team for 16 years and an assistant for another four years. Last year, he was an assistant in New Ulm with the girl's program he now serves as head coach.
"A new coach who brings new things to the table and we're working hard every day-and we're improving," said senior forward Ellie Schneider.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm’s Ellie Schnieder is a key returning player for the Eagles girls basketball team this season.
Reinhart has been given the task of ending the team's 46-game losing streak that dates back to the Section 2AAA playoffs in 2010-11 when it lost to Marshall.
"Basically, we need to get back to the fundamentals and build up our confidence," Reinhart said. "We need to learn how to win [because] hard work will pay off. But, we're going to keep things simple."
There are a total of 30 students out for basketball this year and nine to 10 of them are on the varsity squad.
Schneider and Lizzie Rummel are the two returning seniors to this year's squad. Briana Sieve and Alley Grejtak are the returning juniors. Grejtak is coming back from knee injury, although she did play volleyball this fall.
Sophomores Hunter Ahlness, Kelsey Anderson, Nikki Dittrich, Taylor Bolduan will likely contribute as well.
"I want to see us better in February than we were on the first day of practice," Reinhart said. "I see us getting better every practice and we are working hard."
Reinhart said he sees St. Peter and Waseca as the favorites in the South Central Conference. In Section 2AAA, he said Marshall, New Prague and Mankato East are the teams to watch.
The Eagles' season opener is Dec. 3 at Hutchinson while its home opener is Dec. 5 against Sibley East.