FLORENCE, Wis. - While the Florence boys varsity basketball team brings back five letter winners from a season ago, only one is a returning starter.
So the challenge, as the season opens this afternoon at St. Thomas Aquinas, will be experience.
"Lack of experience and depth may be a concern as we work through the early season," head coach Tom Beck said. "We have several first-year players."
Florence's roster shows six seniors and six juniors. Senior Austin Herman is the team's lone returning starter. The Bobcats lost starters Jackson Baumgart, Dan DeCamera, Bryce Kerscher and Zach Harrison to graduation. That group accounted for 44 points and 19 rebounds per game last season. Also lost to graduation were role players Dusty Neuens, Alec Doda and Eric Houtari.
"We have speed this season," Beck said. "But we lack size. We are very small."
Seniors Austin Trudell, Herman and Kyle Trudell along with junior Marshall Kelley are the team's tallest players at 5-foot-11.
Florence was 10-13 last season, with an even 8-8 mark in the Northern Lakes Conference.
"Everyone in the NLC should be improved with lots of solid players returning," Beck said. "Crandon looks to be the best. With Laona and Wabeno combining, all teams will be solid."
After today's contest in Marinette, the Bobcats play at Elcho on Nov. 30 before hosting Goodman-Pembine on Tuesday, Dec. 4.
Bryon Bomberg will assist Beck and coach the jayvee squad.
SENIORS - Jonathan Ouradnik (5-9), Louie Garcia (5-9), Austin Trudell (5-11), Austin Herman (5-11), Kyle Trudell (5-11), Josh Bomberg (5-9).
JUNIORS - Jimmy Schuirmann (5-6), Drew Seibold (5-7), Marshall Kelley (5-11), Lucas Gareau (5-7), Tyler Valine (5-7), Jesus Flores (5-7)
Head Coach - Thomas Beck. JV Coach - Bryan Bomberg.