Waukon boys basketball team returns seven letterwinners for 2019-2020 campaign delayed by extension of State Runner-Up football season

2019-2020 Waukon boys basketball team ... Left to right - Front row: Alyx Ede, Logan Houg, Ibrahim Dabo, Avery Rocksvold, Sean Cooper, Jason Troester; Middle row: Aidan Jones, Brennan Sweeney, Daniel Gruman, Ethan O’Neill, Carter Benzing, Kannon Boeckenheuer; Back row: Carson Wille, Reed Kelly, Braden Hemann, Zach Davison, Creed Welch, Asher Fahey.

The 2019-2020 Waukon boys basketball team will return a great deal of experience from last season’s squad that played to a 5-15 season record last winter, as nearly half of this year’s squad of 18 players return as varsity letterwinners. An even greater number of those - all but six - return from a recently completed football season that played to every team’s ultimate destination, the Class 2A State Championship game, which has actually delayed the start of this basketball season for the Indians.

This season’s seven letterwinners include four seniors in Alyx Ede, Asher Fahey, Logan Houg and Reed Kelly, the junior pair of Ethan O’Neill and Creed Welch, and sophomore Braden Hemann. “These guys bring a lot of experience from last season and they have all experienced success in other sports,”

Waukon boys basketball coach Jed Hemann said. “We expect these guys to bring some high expectations to our team and lead the way.”

That delay to the start of the season has pushed the hoop Tribe’s first practice back nearly two weeks and postponed the Indians’ first two games of the season, scheduled for earlier this week, until later in the winter. With practice able to begin November 18, two-thirds of the team was still playing football and the team’s first practice of this season wasn’t held until this past Friday.

“Because a large portion of our team just finished an outstanding football season, we are two weeks behind the majority of the teams in the state,” Coach Hemann said. “We also had several guys that had a great cross country season. A big key for our team will be finding the balance between allowing guys to recoup and rejuvenate from our fall sports and making the most of our practice time to get guys prepared as we get our season going. Hopefully, we can get out to a great start and build on the success that a lot of guys experienced in the fall.”

The Indians will begin working toward doing their best when they take to the hardcourt at Waterloo West High School this Friday, December 6. They will then return home for a non-conference match-up with Sumner-Fredericksburg December 9 before opening Northeast Iowa Conference play at home against Oelwein Friday, December 13.

For more complete coverage, pick up this week's print edition or subscribe to our e-edition by clicking here.