De Soto head boys basketball coach Garret Redman says his team tied for second with Seneca in the Ridge and Valley Conference with a record of 10-4. The main highlights of last year were, “. . . big wins over Seneca, Kickapoo, Viroqua, and Cashton.” Coach Redman’s team finished 14-7 overall.
In 2019-20, the Pirates will be without graduates Riggin Beck—1st Team All-Conference, 19.1 PPG, 9.1 RPG; Brock Venner—1st Team All-Conference, 11.9 PPG, 1.9 APG; Johnny Ziegler—Key Reserve; and Isaiah Zink—1st Team All-Conference, 9.6 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.3 APG.
“Our experienced players Matt Fruth, Kaden Pedretti, Carter Steger and Josh Boardman, will take on larger roles (this season).” Redman adds that, “Our JV guys from last year have worked really hard in the off-season. We had a great summer league participation and our kids were in the weight room!”
“We expect to be competitive night in and night out, improve throughout the season, and be playing our best basketball at the end of the year,” Redman says.
The Pirates will count on returning players in Matt Fruth (captain, hard worker, key reserve), Kaden Pedretti (captain, hard worker, floor leader returning starter), Carter Steger (captain, vocal leader (out with torn ACL for now)), and Josh Boardman to lead and help make that happen.
Redman says his team needs include, “We need to find someone to handle the ball, find some perimeter scoring, and finish around the hoop when we work the ball inside. Defensively we need to be physical and rebound.” He adds, “We lost several key players from last year’s team and many new faces will need to continue to improve throughout the season to fill those gaps.”
“Depth, athleticism, and work ethic are some of the strengths of our team this year,” says Redman. “We will look to have several new faces step up and contribute for us. We also have some athletic younger players who work hard each and every night.”
“I see us in the middle of the pack in the Ridge and Valley and hope we can compete every game. We will have some growing pains early in the season, but we look to be playing good basketball at the end of the season,” says Redman. “We need to work hard each and every day, learn from our mistakes, and compete at a high level.”
As for who the top contenders for the Ridge and Valley conference title are, Redman says, “Wauzeka-Stueben — the Hornets are Ranked No. 1 in the state for D5, Seneca — the Indians won conference four of the last five years, finished second last year, and Kickapoo—the Panthers Return several key contributors from last year’s team.”
Redman adds that other teams in the area who will be teams to watch are Bangor — the Cardinals went to state the last two years and has a lot of talent back, and Cashton — the Eagles return several key players from last year.
Assistant coaches are Jeff Ebner JV and Grant Dull varsity assistant. Redman is in his fifth season coaching the Pirates; four of those years were spent coaching JV.