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2012 season a struggle for MVL so far

December 16, 2012
Jim Bastian - Journal Sports Writer , The Journal

NEW ULM - In 2010, the Minnesota Valley Lutheran Chargers boy's basketball team started out 0-11 before getting their first win. This season, the Chargers have dropped their first five games of the 2012 season

Minnesota Valley Lutheran head boy's basketball coach Craig Morgan. said that the reasons for the slow start this season has been due to his has "been changing some things."

"And now we are needing to adjust to those things," he said. "And I have been very patient with that. We have a group of players that are in this for the long run. We are changing things at all three levels (varsity down to the c-squad program)."

Morgan said that the changes "are going back to the old-style of MVL basketball."

Morgan said that he decided on the switch because what they were doing was not successful.

Last year MVL went 11-16 with a 5-20 season preceeding that.

As anyone knows, when you make a change in a system, it does take time to show positive results.

"It is a mind-set that you have to be willing to play at that pace," Morgan said. "They are not learning new positions, it is learning to play at a new pace that is uncomfortable for them. The JV has been pretty successful with the change. On the varsity I have seen positive strides."

He points to their game with Springfield. While the Chargers failed to win, he said that he was "happy with the effort - they did not give up - we always had a chance to be in the game. I was happy with the effort."

EAGLES BOY'S HOCKEY PROGRESSING WELL: New Ulm High School boy's hockey coach Erik Setterholm aid that he didn't know what to expect from his young team when the season started.

But after an opening game 4-1 loss to Northfield, the Eagles have gone 3-1-1 in their last four games to post a 3-2-1 mark after their 5-3 loss to Delano on Saturday.

"But I am pleasantly surprised," Setterholm said about his team that has only six seniors on the varsity roster. "We beat two teams in our section in Marshall (on the road 4-2) and Hutchinson (4-3). The Hutch game is the only time that we will play them. You hate to be talking about sectional seedings after the first five games but it is what it is. They were both big games for us to win."

In Setterholm's seven seasons as head coach of the Eagles, New Ulm has not lost a South Central Conference game. New Ulm's last loss in the SCC happened in 2006 to Waseca.

Setterholm said that he is happy with the play of senior defenseman Mitch Neid.

"He has taken more of a leadership role with our younger defensemen who look up to him," Setterholm said.

Senior Blake Neumann, junior Judd Davis and sophomore Wyatt Peterson comprise the Eagles' top line.

"We have gotten some pretty balanced scoring but they have scored the most goals," Setterholm said.

Junior Cole Dulas, ninth-grader Ethan Kraus and sophomore Brandon Helget man the second line.

"They have done well considering they are all underclassmen. Brandon has scored some power play goals for us," he said.

Junior Brach Kraus has played every game in the nets for the Eagles this season at varsity with freshman Cody Banal minding the nets for the JV.

"Matt Berkner is hopefully coming back after the first of the year for us to spell Kraus," Setterholm said "But I have not seen him play this year because of a broken arm. That will take some pressure off of Cody and Brach. Both Cody and Brach have played through some dinged up injuries so it will be nice for them eventually to take a game off."



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