By PATRICK SLACK
To match last season’s 19 wins and Granite Ridge Conference championship, Little Falls will have its hands full.
The Flyers lost their top scorer to graduation and their No. 2 option suffered a season-ending injury.
But, Little Falls does bring back a trio of players with starting experience, plus an influx of young players expected to add size and speed.
Senior guard Sebastian Sowada (2012/13: 6.0 points per game) and junior forward Bryce Zawatzke (2012/13: 6.4 points, 6.1 rebounds) will be at the forefront of the Flyers’ attack, with junior point guard Thomas Bell likely to take on most of the ball-handling responsibilities.
“We have three quality players back in Bryce Zawatzke, Thomas Bell and Seb Sowada,” Little Falls head coach Kevin Jordan said. “The newcomers are good athletes that give us a good combination of quickness and strength.
“Our goals and expectations remain the same: we will try to win our section and conference,” he said.
A few of the new players the Flyers will look to count on are seniors Mark Hanowski, Cam Smith and Jake Loukinen, as well as juniors Kyle Kabanuk, Brighton Goodrich, John Lukasavitz and Kyler Erdman and sophomore Riley Loukinen.
Senior Troy Scott, who averaged 11.3 points per game last year, is out for the year due to injury.
Graduating from last year’s roster were Jake Scott, Collin Eckman, Collin Gradin, Travis Spillum, Spencer Lubbers and Josh Wenzel.
Section 8AAA appears to be wide open at the start of the season, with Alexandria and Sartell-St. Stephen near the top with the most returners.
St. Cloud Cathedral will open as the team to beat in the conference, Jordan said.
Little Falls will get an early crack at one of those favorites, as it opens its season at home against defending section champion Sartell-St. Stephen, Tuesday.