2016-12-08 / Sports

Lakers loaded with depth, talent


GLEN LAKE newcomer Drew Peterson defends Gabe Callery of Traverse City St. Francis in the first quarter of Tuesday night’s game in Traverse City. GLEN LAKE newcomer Drew Peterson defends Gabe Callery of Traverse City St. Francis in the first quarter of Tuesday night’s game in Traverse City. Second-year Glen Lake coach Rich Ruelas has an embarrassment of riches on his roster this winter.

Ruelas brings back three all-conference players from last year’s team (15- 7, 10-4 Northwest) — Xander Okerlund, Nick Apsey and Mike Skipski — who will team up with a number of promising young players and fresh faces this season. All in all, the Lakers have speed, height, experience, talented shooters, physical football players and a lot of confidence entering the 2016-17 campaign.

“This year our focus is going to be playing fast,” Ruelas said. “We’re going to have minutes for lots of guys, so we’ll be pushing the ball. We’ll have guys that can score and guys that know their roles: rebound and defend.”

Okerlund, who showed signs of being a prolific scorer last year as a freshman, will be relied upon to contribute offensively. Newcomer Cade Peterson, a 6-foot-4 transfer from Lake City, will be expected to do the same.

But on a team loaded with talent and athleticism, Ruelas said any number of players could lead the team in scoring — or minutes — on any given night.

“It’s going to be competitive,” he said. “These guys get after it. I think it’s going to be like that all year.”

The team certainly appears to have what it takes to compete for a Northwest Conference championship after finishing second in league play a year ago.

Ruelas doesn’t expect his team to look too far ahead, however.

“The boys have been outstanding in their approach and focus thus far,” Ruelas said. “We have a very tough schedule this year and it will be a battle in our conference. With that being said, we have set big goals in our program and are working really hard each and every day towards achieving those goals with a team-first attitude.”

GLEN LAKE

Coach: Rich Ruelas
Last year: 15-7 (10-4)
Returning starters: 3
Returning Dream Teamers: 0
Strength: Camaraderie, depth

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