Mike Hanson, has stepped down from coaching girls basketball, so he can watch his granddaughter play after 13 years — three seasons as head coach.
The new De Soto girls basketball head coach, middle school math teacher, Heath Eliason, takes over the reins. Coach Eliason will be without graduated varsity starters Maggie Nickelotti, Cassie Roach (all-conference honorable mention) and Camille Tully (all conference team and team MVP).
Coach Eliason says that, after a week of two-a-day practices, he feels, “We will play the right way and play hard.” He adds that, “If we give our best effort, we should be very competitive. Our team strengths are athleticism and defense, but we need to work on our ability to score. We also don’t have a lot of height.”
Eliason predicts that juniors Shelbie Buckles and Jess Trussoni and senior Morgan Olson will stand out and lead his team.
While he is new to the area, he says it appears that Seneca, Ithaca and Kickapoo will be the teams to beat in the Ridge and Valley.
De Soto travels to La Farge, Friday, and then hosts Lansing Tuesday, Dec. 4.