FELCH - North Dickinson boys varsity basketball, opening its season tonight at home against Carney-Nadeau, looks to fill a couple of big holes in its starting lineup.
The Nordics, 10-11 last year, lost 50 percent of their scoring and rebounding with the graduation losses of Cory Johnson and Bryon Harper.
"We are looking for some other kids to step up," Nordics head coach Chris Mattson said.
The Nordics do return six letter winners on its roster of 10 players. Mattson hopes replacing the numbers of Johnson and Harper begin with those players - including senior Cody Berg, a three-year starter.
"I am looking for him to take a more leading role," Mattson said.
Mattson said Berg, senior Ken Pekarek, juniors Logan O'Neil and Matt Schultz along with sophomore Derek Wagner will start initially. Berg is the tallest at 6-foot-2.
"We are smaller than we've ever been since I've been coaching," Mattson said. "We'll have to rely on quickness to win some games.
The goal, according to Mattson, is to continue to build the team and win when it counts.
"It might be little rough to start, but hopefully we'll get some wins when it counts toward the end of the year," he said. "We have a good, hard-working group. All 10 guys played football, so we're in pretty good shape."
Mattson said the Skyline Conference should be competitive.
"Carney is a favorite," he said. "They went far last year. North Central is going to be dynamite by the end of the year, and you have to throw Bark River in there too.
"If we play good defense and rebound, we should get some wins. That's going to be key - defending inside. If we can't do that, it could be a long season."
Mike Christian guides the jayvee team. Maximus Mattson serves as a team manager.
Varsity roster follows:
SENIORS - Ken Pekarek, Dominic Christian, Cody Berg.
JUNIORS - Tim Hruska, Blake Lindeman, Logan O'Neil, Justin Clark, Brad Gustafson, Matt Schultz.
SOPHOMORE - Derek Wagner.