Spartans’ rookie coach has talented nucleus [UPDATED]Published 11:23am Tuesday, November 6, 2012 Updated 11:23am Tuesday, November 6, 2012
While the coaching staff may be new, the M State-Fergus Falls men’s basketball team will have plenty of experience on the floor this season.
The Spartans, who open the season Wednesday at home against Jamestown, return three sophomores from last year’s 19-11 squad that fell to Central Lakes College in the state championship, and add a bountiful cast of freshment.
Such a crop of talent should make things easier for first-year head coach Josh Mohagen, who is the first non-Retzlaff (Dave, followed by son Jason) to coach the Spartans in four decades.
“We have a good mix of experience with some exciting new talent,” said Mohagen, who coached the Fergus Falls girls basketball team last year. “Our plan is to create havoc on defense and play a fast fearless style of offense. If we are going to be a great team we will have to get tougher and play stronger each day.”
The Spartans will be led by captains Shane Bosek (Glenwood), Jason Nelson (Clarissa) and Rapheal Cabaniss (Bloomington, Minn.). Sophomore transfer players Will Marlow (Saginaw, MI.), Boomer Blossom (Anchorage, AK), and Bee Pee Paijibo (Fargo) will also provide leadership and will contribute immediately.
Mohagen said he believes he had a great recruiting class headlined by Luke Halbakken (Pelican Rapids), Chuckie Smith (Minneapolis), and Gavin Dettweiller (Bertha) who will be key freshman that will get good time this year. Cole Riley (Morris, MN) and Derek Coffield (Lancaster) show great promise for a bright future as Spartans.
Mohagen, who compiled an 83-27 record and a third-place state finish for the Otters last year, said he feels his coaching staff will be of great help to him this year.
“We have a great group of assistants that I am very proud of,” Mohagen said. “Jim Salentine, Shawn Sorenson, and Sam Vanderlinden all bring huge gifts to the table that will help our program to continue to grow.”