Varsity Boys Basketball Coach: Jacob Braaten (Alumni, Class of ’09)
Jr. Varsity Boys Basketball Coach: Cory Fleck
Jr. High Boys Basketball Coach: Andrew Richards (Alumni, Class of ’02)
A Year of Growth for WTCS Boys Basketball
Print“We are going to be a super young team this year.”
Those were the words of Williston Trinity Christian School head boys basketball coach Jacob Braaten. With the graduation of seniors Lenny O’Neill, Peyton Monzon and Chris Brooks from last year’s team, as well as the loss of explosive backcourt player Isaac Guylfrede, who will play his senior season of high school basketball in Mayville this year, WTCS does not have a single senior on the roster for the 2019-2020 campaign.
Instead, the Crusaders will look to junior Caleb Babcock for leadership as he is the club’s most experienced player. At a shade over six feet tall, Braaten believes Babcock will be able to give WTCS a presence in the paint.
“I really like his work ethic, and his effort level on the defensive end of the floor,” Braaten tells the Williston Herald. “I think every coach wants a player like that.”
In addition to Babcock, the fifth-year WTCS basketball coach will also have multi-sport athlete Colby Grindeland, a sophomore, in the front court. With both players being over six foot, Braaten envisions their size to be a big advantage for the Crusaders as the season gets underway.
“Those two will be our tall boys in the lineup. I’m expecting their length and athletic ability will help us defend, and also help us out on the boards as well,” Braaten adds.
Other rotational player on this year’s Crusaders will include freshman point guard Dawson Fleck, who comes into the season with varsity experience. Coach Braaten believes Fleck, as well as Derek Lee, an athletic soccer player, will play extended minutes together in the backcourt this season. More specifically, Braaten says he is quite encouraged with the progress Fleck has made improving his game over the past couple of seasons.
“You can really see how passionate he is about the game of basketball. He’s put in a ton of hours developing his ball handling and shooting skills, and I can definitely see he’s consistently getting better,” the WTCS coach said of Fleck.
When coaching such a young roster, Braaten stresses the importance of setting small goals, such as having a good offensive possession, locating a quality shot within the flow of the offense, and boxing out an opponent to secure a rebound. Once those tasks can be accomplished with consistency at the varsity level, playing a solid half, and ultimately a solid game, will be able to happen naturally.
“With no upperclassmen, this year will be brand new territory for the players, and for me, so I am excited to see what we can put together,” the WTCS basketball mentor continues. “I have preached to them that this year is not about wins and losses, instead, we are just focused on being a team and building off of that.”
Varsity 2018-19 Boys Basketball Seniors: Lenny O’Neill, Chris Brooks, Peyton Monzon
2017-2018 Season: Congratulations to WTCS senior Kaleb Cornell for being named to the District 15 All Tournament Basketball Team!
The Crusaders were in the tournament March 2 & 3, 2018, in Watford City.
Great job Kaleb!