The West Central Area girls basketball team lost three players to graduation who have continued playing the game at the collegiate level. Abby Van Kempenwho went over 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds last season is now at UM-Morris, Abby Oberg is playing for Ridgewater and Annabelle Haarstadis playing for the Graceland Jackets in Iowa. With their departure the Knights will have some starting positions to fill.
Senior guard Taylin Schliecher is a returning captain for the Knights. Other senior letter winners include Morgan Sanstead (F), Katie Merrick (F) and Dawn Anderson (F). Juniors returning are Demara Bumgardner (G) and Brianna Kreft (F-C). Sophomore Ella Van Kempen (F-C) and freshman Hailey Bennett (G) are also back.
"Our team has already suffered a setback this season losing Demara Bumgardner to a knee injury," reported Head Coach Eric Schoenbauer who is in his third season. "Demara had established this summer her ability to put the ball in the basket and she is a key component to our team chemistry on and off the floor. One of our strengths will be the chemistry of this team and their ability to work together through difficult situations. Our biggest weakness is the lack of identity our team currently has while on the floor, but the team does use it to their advantage being able to do a little big of everything."
Newcomers to the varsity team are juniors Amanda Dreschel (G) and Izzy Whitbrodt (F), and sophomores Morgan Woodle (F) and Caitlin Sanstead (G).
"We have not set our team goals this season yet, but we have a few goals that are built into our program every year," said Schoenbauer. "These goals are to grow each day, communicate effectively with people in our lives, and help our community be productive and safe. Expectations for us this year are to continue to push ourselves to new limits that we have not yet experienced, and to compete as a team with anyone we play against."
Eli Dotts and Naomi Moerke will serve as assistant coaches for the Knights.
"In my opinion, Section 6A and the Pheasant Conference will have to go through Wheaton/Herman-Norcross this season," concluded Coach Schoenbauer.