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Column: Lack of a long-term head coach has hurt NUHS boys’ basketball program

NEW ULM — One of the keys to establishing and maintaining a successful program is stability on the coaching staff.

For the New Ulm boys’ basketball team, trying to do that has resulted in a carousel of coaches despite the efforts of NUHS Activities Director Troy Guentzel.

Four head coaches in the last four seasons.

New Eagles head coach Matt Dennis, who coached high school basketball last year in Hancock, Mich., knows that changing basketball coaches as many times as a Minnesotan changes their oil in their car for the winter is a concern.

“Absolutely,” he said. “It is tough on the seniors especially, and I have acknowledged that with them and they know that I understand that I am the fourth coach. But that being said we have to move forward — this is an opportunity for them to build a foundation for something special in the years to come. I think that they have really bought into that.”

Reece Melby, a senior, will be playing for his fourth head basketball coach in as many years.

Melby, who has played for coaches Adam Tyhurst, Steve Foley and now Matt Dennis, said that having a new coach every year is tough.

“But I think that he is going to be here for a long time,” Melby said. “He is really invested into the program. All of the other schools have the same system for years — it is tough to develop skills when you are doing new drills ever year.”

And coach Dennis knows the history but said he is here for the long haul.

“I moved my family here from Michigan ± I have a boy in the sixth grade (and a daughter who is a sophomore on the girls’ basketball team). We are trying to build something special here. We are building a foundation and we are going to go from here. We are looking forward to what we can do this year and take it to where ever we can.”

“I am enjoying the youth and the energy here,” he said.

EAGLES PICK IN SECTION 3A: The New Um Eagles boys’ hockey team is the preseason pick to win the Section 3A title and repeat a trip to the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament by Breakdown Magazine.

New Ulm is picked first followed by Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato, Marshall, Hutchinson and Windom.

New Ulm’s Glavine Schugel is listed in the Super 100 Seniors with the Eagles’ and sophomore Braxten Hoffmann listed as in the Elite Top 35 Underclassmen in Minnesota by Breakdown Magazine.

SPRINGFIELD, CATHEDRAL BOYS RANKED: Springfield is ranked fourth and New Ulm Cathedral fifth in the Breakdown Magazine for Class A.

Section 2A is loaded with BOLD (No. 2 in Class A), third is Mayer Lutheran, followed by Springfield and Cathedral.

Minnesota Valley Lutheran was moved from Section 2 in Class A to Section 2AA. Also moved to that section was Waseca who dropped down from Class AAA. Waseca is ranked No. 1 in that section (and number one in the state in Class AA) followed by Jordan, MVL, Blue Earth Area and Belle Plaine.

Decker Scheffler of Springfield and Jon Zinniel of New Ulm Cathedral are listed in the Top 100 Seniors by Breakdown Magazine.

Ja’Sean Glover of Madelia High School is listed in the Elite 35 Underclassmen.

The Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s girls’ basketball team is ranked 12th in Class A by Breakdown Magazine. The Redwood Valley High School girls are ranked 12th in Class AA. BOLD is the preseason pick in Section 2A, followed by Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s.

The MVL girls are also now in Section 2AA.

Madison Mathiowetz of Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s is listed in the Elite 35 Underclassmen.

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