New look of boy’s basketball team ready for spotlight

Senior Matt Rosonke (23) is set to have a bigger role in basketball this year. Coach Fred Lorensen is very excited about his potential as a player.

Senior Matt Rosonke (23) is set to have a bigger role in basketball this year. Coach Fred Lorensen is very excited about his potential as a player.

Gabe Graber, staff writer

Fred Lorensen, the boy’s basketball coach at PCM, hasn’t had a winning season in two seasons. However, there is trust in him every year because of his numbers: he has been coaching since the 1980-81 season and has 600 wins and a state title. This year’s team will feature many players that haven’t played much varsity basketball before the loss of starters Andrew Mitchell and Gatlin Boell, as well as Sage Burns and Grant Landgrebe. Many of the projected starters for the upcoming year played Junior Varsity last year. Lorensen talked about his goals based on how practice is going so far.   

“I think we have a chance to be really good,” Lorensen said. “My first goal for these guys is that number one, we want to win the conference championship. Most years we are in the hunt, so we’d like to just win it this year. Number two, we want to get better as the year goes on so when the state tournament comes, we can go a long way.”

Going back to the roster spots that need to be filled, Lorensen addressed that as well. He seemed hopeful about it for one reason in particular. 

“Matt Rosonke was hurt most of the year last year, and he is going to surprise a lot of people with how good he is. He has improved since last year and we have some guys to go with them that can be good players,” Lorensen said. 

Senior Matt Rosonke has been a staple on JV teams for the past couple years. He is ready for the spotlight this year as well as to show his basketball skills. 

“One of my strengths is my defense. Even when I can’t score I can play really good defense whenever it is needed,” Rosonke said. 

Rosonke’s comment about defense aligned with something else Lorensen said. Among all the goals he listed, defense was near the top.

“I hope our biggest strength will be team defense. We have to be great defensively and really good in transition. We want to run the floor and get easy baskets as we go down to offense,” Lorensen stressed. 

One of the returning starters will be Carson Vandelune. Vandelune averaged 12.6 points and 3.4 rebounds. As of now, he is out with a back injury but will return at an uncertain time. However, he is excited for the upcoming year. 

“This year we can be really good,” Vandelune said, “We have a lot of talent especially with Matt back [he broke his leg last year], Durant VanDyke’s back and I’m back, so that is three starters right there.”

 There are two open spots in the starting lineup, which is different from most years. It is a battle within the players. 

“Drake Roorda, Cade Lindsay, Keaton Thomas, plus junior Grant VanVeen, who has a chance to be a good player,” added Lorensen. 

Overall, Lorensen has a lot of faith in this team and believes that they have a chance to be really good for a particular reason. 

“We have some really good leaders on our team, and when things don’t go well, they are the guys that keep their heads up and keep everyone supportive. There are two or three guys like that,” Lorensen said. 

The Mustangs are set to play their season opener on Nov. 30 at Knoxville at 7:45 p.m.