NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP)- The Hershey Panthers boys basketball team opens their season on November 29 at home against Perkins County.
After a 10-9 finish last season, and key players leaving for graduation, head coach Dustin Jorgenson knows his upper-classmen are going to have to step up to lead this team, but believes they are up to the task.
"We did lose a good bunch of seniors, but we reloaded. We've got a good bunch of seniors who put in a lot of time and are dedicated to the program. We're excited, this is gonna be a fun year for Hershey basketball. We've got kids that are great leaders," Jorgenson said.
Two of those leaders are senior center Jacob Gosnell and senior point guard Andrew Weitzel.
"We're just gonna have to work hard and I'm gonna have to push every single [one] of the lower-classmen to their full limits and hopefully we can get the job done," Weitzel said.
One thing Jorgenson thinks this Panthers team is going to be best at is working together.
"These guys get along great, they play well together, they put in an unbelievable amount of time as a team," Jorgenson said.
One reason the team meshes so well together is a couple of the upper-classmen played summer ball together.
"It really helped us play together, we just got a lot of good games in, and most of the chemistry comes from playing together," Gosnell said.
"I think we're going to be really good with communicating and moving the ball well, we all work real well with each other, we played summer ball together. We're just hoping to play well together and get some wins this season," Weitzel said.
Jorgenson says starting spots are open, even those that were held by returning players, so he is hoping everyone plays hard coming into the start of the season.
"We're only a few practices into it, but with the attitudes these kids have, and the excitement, we're just ready to get going," Jorgenson said.
"We're just keeping our eye on how hard we work and making sure we don't slack off. As a senior, this is my last year of playing high school ball so, just gotta keep the hard work and do everything we can to win some games," Weitzel said.