Young Greyhounds hope to repeat success from last season

File photo by Steve Muscatello Sam Knowles is back for the Greyhounds this season.

NEW ULM — One key challenge for the New Ulm Cathedral boys’ basketball team this season will be the fact that the team graduated eight seniors from last season’s Section 2A co-championship team.

Jon Zinniel, Chris Knowles, James Gillis, Ethan Mixdorf, Kyle Goblirsch, Tony Geiger, Nathan Jensen and Noah Thompson were the seniors the Greyhounds lost from last season. Zinniel and Chris Knowles were the No. 1 and No. 2 scorers on the team last season, respectively, while Gillis was the third leading scorer.

Losing such talent will be a key challenge for the Greyhounds this season, and head coach Alan Woitas said that the younger guys on the team are ready to play and expand on their roles from a year ago.

“Little bit of a different look team this year,” Woitas said. “We graduated a lot of key contributors from last year’s team, but at the same time we’ve got guys that are ready to get going and are really ready to expand their roles for this upcoming year.”

Returning to the team this season is junior Sam Knowles. Sam Knowles averaged a double-double last season with 10.8 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.

“Sam definitely is our most experienced player returning,” Woitas said. “He averaged a double-double last year. So we look for him to continue doing that, especially being a big force inside, and to really expand his game — be a little bit more of a dual threat, be a little bit better shooter, and be a little bit more of a proficient scorer for us offensively. I think a lot of things will kind of revolve around him, but we definitely have some other guys that are knocking down some shots and that are going to be needed to be guarded on the perimeter as well.”

Seniors Jon Adema and Matt Gillis are two returning players the Greyhounds may look to this year to pick things up when it comes to shooting, while junior David Wilfahrt could see a bigger role also.

No matter how much talent was lost from last season, Woitas said that he will continue to push for a strong defense this year.

“We always try to be a very good defensive team,” Woitas said. “I think we have some players that are good in that role. It’s just getting the unit as a whole to work together defensively. So I hope that will be one our strengths. And then one area that we need to find is we need to find who our consistent scorers will be, who can we count on each night to provide some offensive punch for us.”

With the hopes of keeping his players healthy throughout the year and playing as many games as possible, Woitas has his sights on another spot at the top of the conference and another section title.

“Our goal is to always be competitive in the Tomahawk Conference and really be competitive by the time the section tournament rolls around and out ourselves in a role to compete for the section title,” Woitas said. “That’s always our goal and that doesn’t change this year.”


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