Column: Connor Foley close to career milestone
On Thursday night when the New Ulm Eagles boys’ basketball team hosts Lake Crystal-Welcome Memorial, Connor Foley will become the second New Ulm High School basketball player to break the 1,000-career point total this season.
Earlier this season, junior guard Joey Batt broke the career 1,000-point barrier with the New Ulm girls’ basketball team.
Foley needs 3 points to become the fourth boys’ basketball player into that club.
Others are Luke Schmidt (1,211 points), Scott Hansen (1,093) and Zach Quiring (1,009).
Batt, a junior who currently has 1,134 career points after scoring 21 points against St. James on Saturday, in all probability will break Meleah Reinhart’s NUHS career girls’ school record of 1,842 points at some point her senior year.
Batt has this year remaining and all of next year and looks to break the 2,000-career point total. Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Galen Holzhueter holds the city record for both boys’ and girls’ basketball with 2,053 points.
BELTZ NEARS MARK: New Ulm High School girls’ hockey player Ali Beltz is nearing a scoring mark for herself as she needs five more goals for 100 career goals for the Eagles.
Beltz, along with Dani Weiss and Ashyton Wiltscheck, are leading the Eagles girls’ hockey team in scoring.
Beltz has 29 goals and 21 assists followed by Weiss with 19 goals and 12 assists. Wiltscheck has scored seven goals and added 11 assists. Molly Scheid also has seven goals and five assists.
New Ulm and Delano are the top two teams in Section 2A and the only two teams who currently above .500. Delano is 7-4 overall while the Eagles are 10-2 overall with a home game Thursday against Minnesota River.
BOYS’ HOCKEY HOME TUESDAY, THURSDAY: The New Ulm Eagles boys’ hockey team looks to improve on their current 3-5-0 mark when they host Bloomington Kennedy at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday before hosting Waseca at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday at the New Ulm Civic Center.
“I would have liked to start out better than what we did,” Eagles’ coach Ryan Neuman said. “After we started out 1-4 getting to .500 was our goal by the eighth game.”
Two of New Ulm’s five losses (and one of its wins) came in overtime in which case if the puck goes the right way, the Eagles could easily be 5-3.
Neuman said that his biggest concern eight games into this season has been his defensive zone coverage.
“We need to move the puck quicker and get it out of our zone,” he said.
New Ulm is averaging 3.5 goals per game (with a 10-0 win over Redwood Valley in there) and giving up 2.9 goals a game.
“We need to find people on each line who can put the puck in the net,” he said. “Our goals per game average is not that high right now but scoring seems to be down in [Section 3A].”
Luverne is tops in the section averaging 7.4 goals per game while giving up 0.8 per contest.
Neuman said that in the Eagles eight games so far he has used six different combinations of lines.
“And that is one through four,” Neumann said. “We are trying to figure out who our top players are going to be by the end of February and the first part of March. We want to put players who like to shoot the puck with player who like to pass it.”
Neuman said that goalie Jack Raymond is the team’s best player.
“I get compliments after games from other coaches on how well he plays.
“We need to be ready to play each game,” Neumann said. “There is a different mentality with today’s players. You have to figure out what works and what does not work for them. What is their game preparation –you look on the bus and the players are not talking to each other. They are on their cell phones. We will see what happens with that if we let them use them the whole time or what.”