The New Life Academy boys basketball team enters 2013-14 off of a 12-16 season a year ago. The Eagles went 6-7 in the Minnesota Christian Athletic Association last winter.
The Eagles graduated key players in Cam Duffy and Zach Prefer, but return a number of contributors from last year’s roster.
Seniors John Horner and Kyle Linton will co-captain New Life this season.
“We return 10 players from last year so experience and improvement will be counted on this year,” New Life head coach Doug Linton said. “ This team should be able to get out and score points, the keys will be our toughness on defense and rebounding. We had the tendency to get over matched physically last year at times so we will need to play tougher in order to see progress this season.”
Other players who saw the court last year and are back with the Eagles include: Seniors Sam Nelson, Alex Busch, Derek Wu, juniors Conrad Engstrom, Jake Wynia, Ty Frazier, Sam Horner and sophomore Eby Ketema.
Last season ended with a 91-68 loss to Brooklyn Center in the second round of the Section 4AA playoffs. The Eagles did earn a section win, however, beating Cristo Rey Jesuit 73-37.
the Eagles finished sixth in the conference, with Duffy leading the team in scoring, averaging 10.4 pointers per game, while Engstrom was second, scoring 10 per game.
The top teams in the conference this season are expected to be Lester Prairie, Southwest Christian, Maranatha and Heritage, with Minnehaha, Concordia, SPA and St. Croix Lutheran expected to be the class of the section.
However, New Life hopes to be among the top teams in the conference and section this season.
“This team could challenge for a conference title and section title depending on chemistry and physical play,” Linton said.