NEW ULM - Change is in the air for the New Ulm High School boys' basketball team this year.
New head coach Steve Foley takes over the helm and will try to breathe life into an Eagles program that struggled in the 2011-2012 campaign.
"We want to improve every night," Foley said. "We want to be a different team in February and March than we are now."
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm High School’s Chris Mulder is a key returning player for the Eagles this season.
Foley is no stranger to the school or program since he has done a combination of teaching and coaching for the last 10 years in New Ulm. Foley takes over the varsity team after coaching the freshman team last year for the Eagles.
Foley inherits a team with a fair amount of experience, with Chris Mulder and Aaron Stark filling the role of senior captains this year for the Eagles.
"In my program we are always looking for senior leadership," Foley said. "Chris and Aaron are going to have to make an impact for us to be successful this year."
The Eagles seem to work well together so far this year according to Mulder.
"We have great team chemistry, we work hard as a team and we are not a selfish team," Mulder said.
Other senior contributors this year will be Sam Miller, Isaiah Johnson and Riley Drahota.
A strength for the Eagles this year will be depth.
"We have 22 out for the team," Foley said. "We will have different lineups out there most nights rotating in a lot of guys... We will push the ball offensively and play hard every minute on defense."
One underclassman that the Eagles will rely on is junior Tyler Dittrich.
"He is our man in the middle, our big guy," Foley said.
The Eagles ended last year with only five wins and struggled in the South Central Conference, only winning two conference games. But optimism is high for the Eagles' future as they try to get back on track this year.
"We need to come out and compete every time we step on the floor," Foley said. "Our goals are very simple - improve every day and we will be more successful than we have been."
The Eagles will begin their season on the road when they travel to take on Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 30. New Ulm then travels to Delano on Dec. 1 for its second game, which begins at 1:30 p.m.
The Eagles begin conference play at home against St. James on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m.