Boys’ basketball prepares for first game of season


Johnny Meehan

Senior Levi Hansen gets ready to shoot a free throw on Dec. 12 2016.

Kelly Henning, Web Editor

The De Soto High School boys’ basketball team will begin its season on Dec. 1 at Shawnee Heights High School. The team’s first game of the season will start at 7 p.m.

The team has spent a lot of time preparing for the upcoming season.

“We’ve been getting ready since the second month of school, and we’ve been doing a lot of conditioning and running,” senior Levi Hansen said.

According to head coach Matt Rice, members of the team have been doing “individual work on their own” through “playing with club teams and getting into the weight room.”

While there are some changes to the team from last year, Rice is optimistic about this year’s team.

“We lost 5 seniors and a majority of our scoring and defense, but there is a new intensity in practice that didn’t exist last year,” Rice said. “Fans can expect the guys to play hard and play together.”

Some of this year’s intensity stems from players such as seniors Jared Baruth, Brannon Bell, Levi Hansen and junior Grant Noll, who received “significant playing time last year,” according to Rice.

There is also some new talent on the team, according to Baruth.

“We got some more height this year with [freshman] Nate [Barnhart],” Baruth said. “It’s really nice to have some taller people out on the floor.”

According to Hansen, the first couple of games will be a challenge despite the high level of intensity among the team.

“I think the first couple of games will be a test to see how we work as a team and how conditioned we are to play at the varsity level,” Hansen said.

Despite some of his players’ anxiety, Rice is confident in his team.

“I think they are hungry for a chance to prove themselves after last season’s outcome,” Rice said.

The next chance to see the team play will be at the home tournament it is hosting Dec. 4 through Dec. 9.