Caleb Riordan | Ameritime Sports Writer
The Ste. Genevieve Dragons varsity boys basketball team has their season’s tip-off right around the corner. Head Coach Rob Coleman is at the head of the charge for the Dragons and led them to a 13-15 record last season, which ended with a loss in the district tournament to Dexter. They lost one starter, Christian Boyer, from the squad but return plenty. This team is one year older and one step closer to finishing above .500
Despite the loss of Boyer, the Dragons return four starters. Logan Trollinger is the lone senior of the starters. He ran the point last year and will do the same this season. He averaged 13.3 points per game and was the team’s leading scorer. He also averaged 4.5 assists and 3.2 steals per game to boot. Rudy Flieg, Ricky Hunter and Aiden Boyer are the other three.
Flieg is the Dragons’ main post player and one of the best rebounders Ste. Gen has to offer. He averaged 6.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game while shooting 66 percent from the floor last season. Hunter is one of the team’s best shooters and Aiden Boyer is one the most versatile Dragons. Hunter averaged 8.7 points and Boyer averaged 9.9 points per game last year.
“Each guy brings something different to the team,” Coleman said. “It will be very interesting to see how we come together.”
They also return seniors Anthony Nash, Chaytin Lea and Landon Rose.
“They all three played big roles last year and have worked hard in the offseason,” Coleman said.
Nash adds to Ste. Gen’s point guard depth and is the team’s best on-ball defender. Lea is another versatile defender that can play both inside and out. Rose “does all the dirty work” according to Coleman, and each of them will play a pivotal part in the team’s success this season. On top of that, they are bringing in six guys from the 22-3 junior varsity squad last season. They are Nick Plati, Blake Morganthaler, Klayton Squires, Carter Klump, Thomas O’Brien and Kaden Buatte. There is no question all of these Dragons have roles cut out for them.
“I believe our depth should be a strength,” Coleman said. “All of our guys bring something to the team.”
Coleman is confident in his team’s defense but it may be a different story on the other end of the floor.
“Offensively, it will be a work in progress as we are trying to run a new offense,” he said. “We will have to work on how all these pieces that we have work together, and I also think our mental toughness will be key.”
Overall, there is belief up and down the roster that this team can flourish.
“I believe this team will be very successful,” Coleman said. “I believe we should improve on last season and I just want our guys to work hard and improve each day.”
Ste. Gen will start the season in a tournament in which they are the smallest school by far. They also play in a competitive conference with teams like North County, Farmington, Park Hills, Fredericktown and Potosi. This year will be a challenge, but this team is up for it. They start the season Nov. 28 in the Van Buren Shootout.