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Bishop Ryan looks to build a contender

Lions coach believes state tourney berth is possible

Robert Brewer/MDN Bishop Ryan senior Jacob Fricke practices rebound and layup drills on Monday evening at the Lions home gymnasium. He is one of three seniors on this year’s boys basketball club.

The Bishop Ryan Lions boys’ basketball team will begin the 2021-22 campaign on the road against Hazen on Friday.

According to a preseason poll released on Monday by ndhsaanow.com, Bishop Ryan did receive votes, but fell outside the top 10 teams among Class B schools within the state of North Dakota. Regardless of the club’s current rankings, Lions head coach Brody Bosch is enjoying the process of beginning a new season.

“It’s fun to try and improve every day, go over everything with the team in preparation and build from there,” Bosch tells The Minot Daily News. “Our first practice of the year took place on Nov. 29, so this game on Friday will go a long way toward seeing where we are at. I hope to play fast and maintain a high tempo throughout.”

Last season was a welcoming back of sorts for Bosch as he returned to the Lions program following two years coaching with cross-town rival Our Redeemer’s Christian School. While the season ended with a region semifinal defeat to Rugby, Bosch says the year was an overall positive for the Lions program.

“I’ve already coached most of our players back in their junior varsity and C-squad days, so it was good to learn each player’s identity and see how they’ve evolved over the years. I think that we can build on those experiences this year,” the Bishop Ryan coach adds.

As for this year’s squad, the Lions will have three seniors in Josh Will, Jacob Fricke and Logan Wentz to provide leadership to the young nucleus. Meanwhile, coach Bosch expects underclassmen such as Jett Lundeen, Brett McKay, Ian Johnson and Ramsey Walz to also log major minutes in the Lions rotation.

Junior Brady Feller is perhaps one of the team’s biggest offensive weapons heading into the new season. Bosch sees Feller as Bishop Ryan’s best all-around talent with knock-down shooting ability. In the offseason, the Lions coach credits Feller with adding to his offensive repertoire. Bosch believes Bishop Ryan fans can expect to see Feller driving to the basket with more frequency than in his sophomore campaign.

Overall, the Bishop Ryan basketball mentor states that his goal is to put the Lions in position to qualify for the state tournament and make a run at a championship. In order to accomplish that lofty goal, he will need consistency from all members of the club.

“I think a successful season would be for us to put together our best effort night in and night out. If we can do that, it would give us a great shot to contend for the state championship,” Bosch states.

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