After winning the first five games then losing the next five, last year’s Bluebird team then won 15 straight games to make it into the final four in the 1A state tournament.
Goessel finished fourth at the 2009 state tournament, and many of this year’s team received playing time on the “big stage.” The Bluebirds will compete as a 2A school this year, and will play for the last time in the Heart of America League.
Finishing among the top teams in the tough league is attainable.
“These guys have had much success in the fall season,” head coach Justin Coup said. “The confidence that they gained in the fall will help when going against someone else in the basketball season. This team will steadily improve and be a different team by the end of the year.”
The Goessel basketball team returns two starters from last year. Weston Hiebert, 6-foot-2 senior, was the leader last year in drawing charges, collecting 7.9 rebounds and scoring 5.1 points per game.
Aaron Reimer, also a senior, will use his 6-foot-4 frame to get good shots around the bucket as well as rebounding. He scored 5.2 points per game and averaged 4.9 rebounds.
Other letter-winners from last year are looking forward to making a significant contribution to this year’s varsity games.
Issac Fast will be vying for a guard position, Hayden Goerzen is looking to contribute as a guard, and Chad Wedel will use his lanky build to play aggressive defense and help his team from the guard position. All three are seniors.
Bryant Miller, a 6-foot-2 senior, will look for playing time at the forward/center position. Juniors Neal Brubaker and Corey Buller will also help the team from the guard spots.
Sixteen players will have a chance at 12 varsity spots — especially at the guard/forward position. Coup expects to have an internal battle, as several spots are up for grabs.
“We are going to be big, strong, and physical. This may be the most physical team Goessel fans have seen in a while,” Coup said.
Twenty-eight players reported for basketball practice, and Ryan Janzen and Curtis Guhr will assist Coup in his 12th year as basketball coach at Goessel.
Goessel began the season with a game at Northern Heights Friday and then will host the Bluebird Classic with five other schools.
Goessel played at home Tuesday, and will play Friday and Saturday.