IRON RIVER - West Iron County, bolstered by nine letterwinners including five with starting experience, opens the boys basketball season tonight at Westwood.
"Practice has been going rather well," said WIC Coach Dan Schive. "I have a motivated bunch of kids and a finish line in sight.
"We are deep, athletic and experienced with nine returning seniors."
Brock Hopkins, Adam Newby, Joey Pisoni, Andy Ridolphi and Aren Newby started last season. Seniors Colton Pangrazzi, Ryan Rogers, Tylor Capadagli and Anthony Rule also lettered.
"We do not have a whole lot of height," said Schive, his tallest Wykon at 6-foot-1. "But lots of weight room work has paid off. We are a strong team.
"We will be much better defensively and we are working on becoming more consistent off the boards as a team."
West Iron (13-7 overall, 6-2 West PAC last year) graduated All-U.P. second-teamer Austin Waara, all-league defender Tyler Stafford and Alex Ralston.
West Iron won the league title last year.
"We are in a very good conference," Schive said. "L'Anse is loaded. Houghton and Calumet are very good, and Hancock has a pretty big guy returning. Class C is going to be a very competitive division.
"It should be fun. We will come ready to battle."
SENIOR - Colton Pangrazzi, forward, 5-10; Joey Pisoni, forward, 6-0; Adam Newby, forward, 6-1; Ryan Rogers, guard, 6-0; Tylor Capadagli, guard, 5-9; Aren Newby, forward, 6-0; Anthony Rule, forward-guard, 6-0; Brock Hopkins, guard-forward, 6-1; Andy Ridolphi, forward, 6-1.
JUNIOR - Brandon Olson, guard, 5-9; Ryan Maki, forward, 6-1; Tommy Keski-Kastari, guard, 5-9; Nick Helgemo, forward, 5-11; Trey Manitta, forward, 5-11; Michael Barker, forward, 6-0.