1AD2 North Star League
Written by: Sven Alskog
PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. Genesis Prep
3. Clark Fork
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Jonny Hillman, Senior, Genesis Prep
Kon Ajang, Senior, Genesis Prep
Jacob Schultz, Senior, Genesis Prep
Day Day Higgins, Sophomore, Lakeside
Kobe Banks, Junior, Clark Fork
Gage Maitland, Senior, Kootenai
Luke Trogden, Freshman, Mullan
Two-time defending state champion Genesis Prep has dominated the North Star League since joining, something the program hopes to do again this year.
The Jaguars are led by the senior trio of Jonny Hillman, Kon Ajang and Jacob Schultz, who will make things difficult for opponents on a nightly basis.
While the team will be younger due to the loss of six seniors from last year, the pieces that are back have valuable experience that can help benefit the younger talent. Those players that make up the new senior class have the coaching staff excited.
“Our senior leadership. Seeing how our new guys develop as the season progresses,” said Genesis Prep head coach Marsell Colbert when asked what excites him most about the team this season. “On defense we look to limit offenses scoring opportunities to one shot per possession. Offensively we look to share the ball and get the best available shot. Our goal is to work, set the table and eat.”
Entering the season Genesis Prep is again the state favorite in the 1AD2 classification, something which the program has become accustomed to in the last few years.
Lakeside was picked second in the preseason coaches poll, with All-League center Day Day Higgins back for his sophomore season. The six-foot-seven-inch Higgins is a matchup nightmare for 1AD2 competition, providing length that is hard to prepare for.
The Knights benefit from having all but one player back from last year, something which should help immensely throughout the season.
“With a year under their belt I look for last year’s freshman to step up into a more pressing role. Also, the juniors will look to shoulder more of the load,” said Lakeside head coach James Twoteeth.
Kenyon Spottedhorse and Jayson Hall are some other sophomores to watch, with Jasper Abuan and Christopher Matt ready to take on larger roles as well.
Talon Twoteeth, Emmitt White and Sergio Abuan are other returners for the Knights.
“They are scrappy and return all but one player,” added Colbert.
Beyond Lakeside and Genesis Prep, it will be interesting to see how the league shapes up.
“Clark Fork I think will be better than people think,” said Twoteeth.
The Wampus Cats roster is highlighted by Kobe Banks, who should help the team to improve on the win total from last year, when the program went 3-13.
Kootenai brings back Gage Maitland, Tristan Usdrowski and Jarrett Usdrowski from a team that won just one game last season.
Mullan was selected as fifth out of five teams in the preseason coaches poll. Freshman Luke Trogden is expected to make a big impact for the Tigers.