Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Boys Basketball Off to Hot Start
The Wolves are one of the more experienced teams in the area with seven seniors on their roster, four of whom are in the starting lineup.
“We’ve been playing with each other since 2nd grade,” says senior Cole Nelson. “We have good chemistry and we can lead pretty well.”
The team is led by first-year head coach Darin Schultz, who was an assistant the past two years. After some few growing pains, the team has hit their stride.
“The transition has been a little tough, I think, but we got used to it after a few games,” says Nelson. “He’s a good coach, we all like him.”
“We play a lot faster with our new coach,” says junior Cole Rasmussen. “We try to emphasize defense more, box-out, etc.”
Schultz says what he enjoys the most about coaching the team is being able to impact his players both on and off the court.
“Just being able to see our kids grow and knowing that I have a lot to do with that both as a player and as people individually in the community,” says Shultz. “That’s probably been a really rewarding time so far this year.”
Walker-Hackensack-Akeley’s strength is their size, but as teams have caught on to their post play, the team says they’ll find new ways to beat opposing defenses.
“We’re going to have to start adjusting to what teams do to us. It’s not going to be as easy just to throw it inside anymore,” says Schultz. “We’re going to have to find different ways to help our team score and our guards are going to have a big part to do with that.”
The Wolves’ schedule is about to ramp up in difficulty, a good test if the team wants to push past the second of the section playoff, where they’ve lost each of the past three years.
“I think we need to just stick together over the whole season,” says Nelson. “We’ve kind of fallen apart in the past few years, I think, and this team can really stick together and come through and get higher than we have been.”