NASELLE - The Naselle Comets basketball team opened practice for the 2002-03 season with very little experience. Head coach Ryan Bjornsgard said, "We lost seven seniors from last year's team, including Dustin Doty who led us in almost every statistical category. We don't have a lot of experience returning!
"Overall, this group of kids have not really played much basketball. We need a lot of work in fundamentals and repetitions. But I'm very pleased with the numbers (26) and their work ethic and attitude. We have eight freshmen turning out and that's a positive also. We have finished first (my first three years) or second (last two years to Valley) in league the last five years and that is not realistic at this time.
"Coach (Paul) Jarrett (4th year) does an excellent job with the kids. He's very knowledgeable and is an asset to the program," Bjornsgard concluded.
With the number of players turning out, a C-squad coach will probably be added to the Comets coaching staff this week.
Players turning out include: (Seniors) Robin Andrea II, Zach Badger, Maros Borak, Justin Clark, Cody Davis, Thomas Gradt, Sean Houghton, Matt Queral, and Takumi Sato. (Juniors) Derek Johnson, Jordan Petrovich and Daniel White.
(Sophomores) David Gradt, Jeremy Jordan, Tony Mendoza, Greg Queener, Paul Perez, and Joe Wright. (Freshmen) Colby Engelson, Evan Hendrickson, Randy Johnson, Ricky Johnson, Aoy Marion, Keegan, McGuire, Preston Torppa and Doug Wise.
The Comets will open their season with two home games, in a league game against Northwest Christian on Tuesday, Dec. 3, followed by a non-league encounter against Cathlamet on Friday, Dec. 6. (As of now, this game is still scheduled to be played on time even though the Mules have moved on in the state football playoffs to play Lind-Ritzville in the semifinals this weekend.)