Marcus Oistad is ready for the public unveiling of his first Sartell boys basketball team.
The Sabres open the 2013-14 season at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Little Falls.
“I’m excited,” Oistad said. “I know the kids have worked hard the last couple of weeks ….
“I think they’re pretty excited. We’ve got some guys back and some guys in new spots, guys who were role players who we’re expecting to play more prominent roles for us.”
Oistad is Sartell’s new head boys basketball coach. He replaces long-time coach Dave Angell, who retired after leading the Sabres to the state Class 3A tournament last March.
That team was led by a pair of seniors who started three seasons, Patrick Fischer and Tim Immelman.
Fischer is now playing at Bemidji State and Immelman is playing at St. John’s University.
There is plenty of talent back for Sartell, which was 17-13 last season.
Senior guard Tom Bearson averaged 13.5 points per game.
Brandon Snoberger, a 6-foot-5 junior forward, also returns after averaging 5.0 ppg.
Kevin Wolfe (6-7, sr., c) and Tyler Tillotson (6-5, sr., f) each played a bit last season.
Also expect contributions from Kyle Och (6-2, jr. g), Matt Markman (6-4, jr., f/c), AlexHaima (6-3, sr., f), Scott Ballard (6-2, sr., f), Brett Bertelson (6-1, sr., g), Sam Neeser (6-0, sr., g) and Cordell Midas (5-11, sr., g).
Midas is nursing a back injury and won’t play Tuesday, Oistad said.
Oistad expects his team to be athletic and play the full court.
“We have a good group of guys who are learning to play together and enjoy spending time with other and working for the same cause,” said Oistad, who has 60 players out in grades 9-12.
“It’s a lot of kids, but it’s a good problem to have,” Oistad said.
He expects Little Falls to be tough and experienced. Troy Scott is the Flyers’ leading returning scorer and a fine outside shooter, Oistad said.
The Sabres beat Little Falls, a member of the Granite Ridge Conference, 65-44 last season. The Flyers were 19-8.
“I’ll be a good test,” Oistad said.
The Sauk Rapids boys hockey team opens the season at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at Sports Arena East against Rogers.
Rogers opened with a 4-3 win over Champlin Park. Sauk Rapids and Rogers skated to a 2-2 overtime tie in last season’s Storm opener.
The Royals are led by senior defenseman Travis Brown, who has committed to Michigan Tech.
“It’s going,” said Sauk Rapids head coach John Kothenbeutel when asked about preseason practice. “We’re a work in progress.”
The Storm’s first line consists of seniors Travis Kothenbeutel and Ryan Rutar and junior Aaron Peckskamp.
Travis Kothenbeutel, the coach’s son, played 16 games of junior hockey with the Granite City Lumberjacks before the high school season.
Sauk Rapids will start senior William Mortenson in goal.
“I think we’ll be very strong in net,” John Kothenbeutel said. “Our top line is strong, too.
“We’re not very deep.”
St. Cloud Apollo opened the boys basketball season with a 68-45 win Friday at Becker. Ethan Novacinski, a sophomore forward, led the way for the Eagles with 24 points and nine rebounds.
“I thought it went great,” Novacinski said. “Our defense was great.”
Becker failed to score in the first six minutes as the Eagles mixed things up, running a man-to-man, a 1-3-1 zone and a 2-3 zone.
Also in the starting lineup were: sophomore Cole Johnson and seniors Ethan Carlson, Jeremy Koffi and Noel Teigen.
Apollo next plays in the Monticello Tournament. The Eagles face Anoka at 3 p.m. Friday, then face Monticello at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Jay Klein is in his eighth season as head boys basketball coach at Kimball.
He’s excited about the Cubs’ prospects in 2013-14.
“This is probably the most talent I’ve had in Kimball,” Klein said. “Whether or not that leads to good things down the road, we’ll see.”
Kimball opened with an 82-59 win over Foley. The Cubs have five players with significant varsity experience returning from a team that went 5-9 in the Central Minnesota Conference and 12-14 overall.
They are Cameron Hunt (5-10, sr., g), Mathias Hennen (5-11, sr., g), Ben Serbus (6-0, sr., g), Jarred Merchant (6-3, jr., f) and Joey VonWahlde (6-0, jr. g).
Also contributing is Will Spaulding (6-4, jr., f), Brady Faber (5-7, jr., g) and Austin Marx (6-0, jr., f).
Klein said he has switched up some things to take advantage of Kimball’s athleticism.
“We can get up and down the court,” Klein said. “We’ve got five kids who can hit threes.”
The team to beat in the CMC will be Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa. In Kimball’s South Sub-Section 5A, BBE and Upsala are preseason favorites.
An outfit called Northstar Football News that is used by college recruiters has three area athletes from listed in its top 100 recruits for the class of 2015.
They are Sartell’s Anthone Thene, St. Cloud Apollo’s Ben Alvord and St. Cloud Cathedral’s Tommy Auger.
Thene, a lineman, is ranked 16th. Alvord, a quarterback, is ranked 26th. Auger, a linebacker, is ranked 62nd.
No. 1 is Cretin-Derham Hall defensive lineman Jashon Cornell. Others of note: Bemidji quarterback James Hendricks is 43rd and Hawley quarterback Jordan Harms is ranked 83rd.
Two Rockford athletes make the list: Jeremy Bingham at No. 64 and Jake Clouse at 92nd.
Albany graduate Zach Noreen set career-bests with 25 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in Bemidji State’s 103-56 men’s basketball win over St. Scholastica.
Noreen is a 6-foot-6 senior forward for the Beavers (3-0).
Noreen is averaging 17.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.
There are two area freshman on Bemidji State’s men’s basketball team: Albany’s Scott Litchy and Sartell’s Pat Fischer.
Litchy is a 6-2 guard who has yet to score in three games.
He has played 16 minutes.
Fischer is a 6-3 guard who has played in two games and is averaging 2.0 points per game in five minutes.
Kelsey Stommes, a junior from Rocori, has six kills in 11 games for the Mississippi State volleyball team. Stommes, a cousin of Litchy’s, is a transfer from Ridgewater College in Willmar.
Mississippi State is 2-14 in the SEC, 11-19 overall.