Boy cagers young, but not short on experience


A young Sibley East boys’ basketball team tipped off its 2007-2008 campaign Monday with preseason conditioning drills in Gaylord.

Sibley East will begin play Monday, December 10th when it hosts Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop.

With a strong corps of juniors and sophomores on the squad, excitement continues to build around Sibley East’s boys’ basketball program.

Todd Warzecha’s Wolverines are viewed by many area basketball enthusiasts as the “team to beat” in the next few seasons. Although they are young, many players on the squad have already notched a full season or two of varsity ball.

“We have a lot of guys with varsity experience coming back,” Warzecha told The Gaylord Hub on Monday. “If we play solid team basketball, we are going to be tough to beat. How quick we can find team chemistry will be the key.”

Regulars returning from last season’s squad, which posted an 8-15 record, include juniors Erik Goetsch, Michael Schultz and Sean Dietz, and sophomores Ian Berg and Marshall Bjorklund. These are the five returning letterwinners for Sibley East.

Other candidates for the Wolverine varsity squad this season include:

Seniors – William Paine and exchange student Henry Zhao;

Juniors – Tyler Agre, Lincoln Bjorklund, Tyler Petzel, Josh Shollenbarger, Gustavo Martins and David Schafflick;

Sophomore – Justin Rettmann;

Sibley East will get its first test of the season on Saturday when the Wolverines travel to Mankato East for a scrimmage. Teams participating in the scrimmage will included Mankato East, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown, St. James, Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial and United South Central.

For the first month of the season, Sibley East will be without the services of standout Bjorklund. The 6’-6” sophomore center suffered an injury to his left shoulder during football. According to Warzecha, Bjorklund can practice but no contact is allowed. He is expected to return to the lineup in January.

Bjorklund was Sibley East’s lone All-Conference selection last season. He averaged 13 points, ten rebounds and three blocked shots per game during his freshman campaign.

Sibley East will begin its Minnesota River Conference (MRC) season December 20th at Mayer Lutheran. The Wolverines finished 5-9 in conference play a year ago.

Holy Family is seen as the favorite to win the MRC this season. The defending state champions have four regulars returning from a year ago.

Warzecha also listed Mayer Lutheran and Belle Plaine among the top teams in the circuit this season.

Mike Feterl will serve as Warzecha’s assistant coach this season. Dan Tackmann returns as Sibley East’s ninth grade coach.

SE Boys Basketball Schedule

Dec. 10 GFW

Dec. 14 Glencoe-Silver Lake

Dec. 18 at St. Peter

Dec. 20 at Mayer Lutheran

Dec. 28-29 at Redwood Tourney

Jan. 4 Jordan

Jan. 7 Nicollet

Jan. 10 Le Sueur-Hend.

Jan. 15 at Norwood YA

Jan. 18 Belle Plaine

Jan. 24 at Holy Family

Jan. 29 at Montgomery-Lons.

Feb. 1 at Le Sueur-Hend.

Feb. 2 Jamboree at Watertown

Feb. 4 at New Ulm

Feb. 7 Holy Family

Feb. 9 Watertown-Mayer

Feb. 12 Mayer Lutheran

Feb. 15 Montgomery-Lons.

Feb. 21 at Jordan

Feb. 26 at Belle Plaine

Feb. 29 Norwood YA

Mar. 6 at Howard Lake

BOLD = Home Game All home games at Gaylord