After a year that saw Sheboygan Falls finish a distant sixth in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference, the Falcons are looking to rebound this season, and with a roster that returns a large amount of last year’s key contributors, head coach Jake Frohling is hoping big things are in store for his squad.
Sheboygan Falls finished last year with a lackluster 6-17 overall record, but was led in scoring by freshman JT Petrie, who averaged 11 points per game and 5.1 rebounds per game, also a team high. With Petrie entering his sophomore year, and joined by returning contributors Austin Madden, Ross Krist, Alex Antonie and Trey Hake, Frohling is expecting his roster, which entered last season inexperienced and untested, to take a big step forward.
“Right now, we want to finish in the top half of the conference,” he said. “We have a pretty tough conference this year, but we think we can finish in that top half. We want to play our best basketball in March and make a run at it. That’s our goal right now.”
To make up ground within the conference, Frohling has his team focused on creating a high powered offense. He knows his rotation has plenty of scorers and wants to take advantage of his team’s speed and athleticism.
“We’ll look to get up and down the floor as quick as possible,” he said. “We have a lot of good shooters so we’ll be shooting the ball, shooting a lot of threes, getting out and transition, trying to get up and down and run the floor will be our strengths. So transition offense and shooting the ball will be our two strengths.”
That’s been the focus so far in practice. Frohling has his team working hard on conditioning with high energy and focus.
“Right now we’re working on getting up and down in transition, getting a lot of shots up in practice and focusing on playing good man to man defense,” he said. “We’ve had a great two days of practice, we’ve had some morning practices too and everything’s looking great. We’re looking forward to getting after it next week.”
Sheboygan Falls will also have to deal with a new-look Eastern Wisconsin Conference. Out are Waupun, Plymouth, Kewaunee and Campbellsport, and in are Chilton, Brillion, Roncalli and Valders.
Waupun and Plymouth finished in first and second in the conference last year, meaning this year’s EWC could be wide open. Frohling said if his team continues to improve the way he’d like, they could make a run toward the end of the year, despite some tough competition entering the conference.
“The conference is new for us,” he said. “There’s some teams I don’t really know a whole lot about, but I know Kiel has a lot of kids back. So does New Holstein. They returned most of their roster from last year, so they’ll be two tough teams in our conference. And then Valders, Brillion and Roncalli are really good basketball schools. So I think we fit somewhere right in the top half, just depends on how we develop through the year and how well we play.”
Sheboygan Falls will open Thursday when they travel to face Roncalli in a conference tilt.