|Seasons begin soon for WP basketball and wrestling teams|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Thursday, 26 November 2015 00:00|
Cash Yearous, Brody Nordhausen, Tyler Davis and Paul Behrends (left to right) all have starting experience for the Broncos. (Diane Stamm | Johnson Publications)
Veterans lead Broncos on court
Coach Dave Kuhlen said effort was never lacking during last year’s basketball season.
With five letterwinners from that team, Kuhlen says practices this season have had great energy and enthusiasm, which he believes is an excellent sign for the 2015-2016 season.
The Broncos have 14 players on the roster. Most have experience with Kuhlen’s system, but low player numbers in the past leave plenty for the team to learn this year.
Senior Chase Rathe returns after leading WP in assists and steals last season, while finishing second in scoring.
Junior Tyler Davis returns as the team’s leading scorer and rebounder.
Another senior, Paul Behrends, started part of the season and put in valuable time off the bench.
Junior Brody Nordhausen started for the Broncos and sophomore Cash Yearous spent time in the starting lineup, as well.
New to WP is junior Greg Gaston, who previously played for McCook.
“Our veterans will be relied on to bring a lot of production and leadership to the table,” Kuhlen said. “We will absolutely need our freshmen to give us high energy minutes off the bench every night.”
WP’s first game will be Saturday against Ogallala in the NSAA Jamboree. The game will not count against the Broncos’ record.
The real season begins Thursday, Dec. 3 against Wallace.
The following night WP will travel to Brady.
“I think the schedule will be quite challenging, but based on the first week of practice, we should feel very confident no matter whom we face,” Kuhlen said.
New look for Lady Broncos
Ellie Lee, Cameo Rector and Faith Simpson return to the court in 2015 as letterwinners for the Wauneta-Palisade girls’ basketball team.
Joining the team is Colby Cox. Cox was first team All-RPAC West Division last season with Hayes Center.
The group will have big shoes to fill after losing six seniors from last season’s 20-6 squad.
Leading this season’s team will be Matt Cox. Cox coached at Hayes Center last year.
Cox said practices have been going well, but with snow days and kids gone, plus the Thanksgiving holiday, the team still has a lot to learn.
The attitude and work ethic of the team, however, has impressed Cox.
“It’s always tough the first year you take over a program because there is so much new information for the kids to digest in a short amount of time,” Cox said, adding that he’s still learning about the individuals and team as they learn from him.
Looking at the schedule, Cox expects Dundy County-Stratton, Class D1 state runner up last season, to be “tough to handle.”
The Tigers return five starters after graduating one senior.
Wallace should also have a good team this season, according to Cox, with a solid point guard and complimentary players surrounding her. WP will face the Wildcats Thursday, Dec. 3 in Wauneta.
“Our biggest competition will be ourselves,” expects Cox.
Though the Broncos return some experienced players, different roles for those athletes may lead to some early season struggles, says Cox.
“I’m still figuring out strengths and weaknesses not only individually but also from a team standpoint,” Cox said. “All-in-all I like where we are at and we will learn a lot more about ourselves on Saturday.”
WP opens the season Saturday at home against Ogallala in the NSAA Jamboree.
The game will not count against the Broncos’ record and proceeds go to the Nebraska High School Hall of Fame.
“I’m really excited with our potential and if we can start clicking by the conference tourney and carry that into subdistricts, it could really be a lot of fun in March!”
WP hits the mats
Six wrestlers reported for the Wauneta-Palisade wrestling team this year.
Cody Barrett is the team’s lone senior. He will wrestle in the 170-pound division.
Sophomore Colton Barrett finished his freshman campaign with a 11-16 record in the 106-pound weight class, but will move up to 120 pounds for this season.
Willis Christner, sophomore, also returns to the team. Christner aims to compete in the 145-pound division.
New to the team is junior Angel Hinojosa, who will wrestle at 138 pounds.
Freshmen Evan Nordhausen and Daniel Christiansen round out the team. Both will compete in the lower weight divisions.
Coach Chad Cochran said practices have been productive for the Broncos, which Cochran says is good to see with the team’s first meet right around the corner.
“We have a lot to get through before we are ready, but I really like the intensity I am seeing in some of our wrestlers,” Cochran said. “These same guys are stepping up and taking the leadership roles and really helping motivate our team. Hopefully we can keep the motivation rolling throughout the year.”
The Broncos first meet will be Friday, Dec. 4 at Elwood.