by Steve Peterson
West Sioux High School’s new boys’ basketball coach, Jerome Hoegh, is hoping a good turnout for pre-season drills adds to a fast start for the Falcons in 2012 – 2013 games.
Hoegh, who played his college basketball at Northwestern College in Orange City, is in his first year as head coach after serving an assistant for Brad Klarenbeek.
“It (practice) is going well. We should be a strong team physically. We have a lot of guys in the 5-foot 10-inch to 6-foot range,” said Hoegh.
A total of 29 Falcons continue to practice and a Ninth Grade Coach, Mark Aldeman, was added to the staff. Adam McVay is also an assistant coach.
Seniors on the Falcons are:
Kembi Kooi, a 5-11 Guard-Forward who scored 137 points last season, 6.5 points per game, and had 56 rebounds, 33 assists and 25 steals.
Braedon Petersen, a 6-2 Forward is back after scoring 130 points, 6.2 points per game average, making 65 percent on free throws and snaring 63 rebounds.
Lee Tapper, a 6-4 Center, scored 33 points last season, 1.7 points per game.
Logan Vlotho, a 6-0 Guard-Forward, scored 44 points, 2.1 points per game last season.
Austin Hultquist, a 6-0 Forward and Alex Waterman, a 6-0 Forward are also experienced players.
Juniors looking to contribute include Mitch Schlumbohm, a 5-8 Point Guard who played Defensive Back for football; Dominic Hirsch, a 5-11 Shooting Guard; and Jesus Rivera, a 5-11 Guard.
Other juniors on the team are: 5-9 Guard Justin Stoltenburg and Forward Logan Van Noort, who is 6-1.
Mason Ericson, 6-3, is a sophomore who hopes to pitch in at Center.
Freshmen on the team are Kedzen Blankenship, 5-5 Guard; Porter Hummel, 5-9 Guard and Justin Negaard, 6-0 Forward.
“Our top 10 or 11 guys are very similar in talent. It may take a while to get the right five combination,” said Hoegh.
As for the War Eagle Conference, the Falcons started the season against Spalding Catholic on Nov. 27 in league play at home. Hoegh hopes the Falcons will compete well and perhaps surprise some people.
“They have all their starters back plus a couple of guys who played well against us,” said Hoegh of the season opener.
The Spalding Catholic squad beat West Sioux 61-50.
Hoegh played high school basketball for Atlantic High School before going to Northwestern where he was a reserve for the Red Raiders.
“All my siblings were very successful playing for Northwestern. I had a blast there,” said Hoegh.
Aldeman is a junior at Northwestern and played football for the Red Raiders’ playoff qualifying team this Fall and previously played basketball.
Early-season games for the Falcons are: Dec. 7: Remsen Union, home; Dec. 8: Alcester-Hudson, S.D., home, junior varsity – varsity boys; Dec. 11, Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn, home; Dec. 18, Akron-Westfield, home.
Games follow the girls’ contests, which start at 6:00 p.m.