By PATRICK SLACK
The Royalton boys basketball team endured a rollercoaster season a year ago.
It went 6-10 in the Prairie Conference, but defeated Section 5A champion Browerville during the regular season and reached the sub-section finals, while also having to make do without standout forward Luke Wentland for six games due to a series of injuries.
This year, the Royals look to again remain competitive throughout in a challenging Prairie Conference slate of games, while relying on returning starting senior forwards Wentland and Matt Silbernick.
Senior Justin Opatz also returns with starting experience, with seniors Brad Woidyla, Ethan Zimny, Lucas Snyder and Stephen Strusz and junior Jesse Popp expected to provide depth and contend for increased playing time.
Graduating from last year’s team were Steve Hoff, Tyler Makela, Curtis Makela, Jeremy Grittner, Brandon Lattimer and Dan Anshus.
Upsala, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle (LPGE) and Browerville open as conference favorites, Royalton head coach Randy Thielges said.
Royalton opens the season with a home game against Holdingford, Friday.