The last couple seasons have been a struggle for Wonewoc-Center, to say the least.
The Wolves are coming off a 2016-17 campaign where they went 0-23, which itself came on the heels of a 1-22 season in 2015-16. A season-opening 52-27 loss to Kickapoo pushed that losing streak to 37 games. In addition, Wonewoc-Center has dropped 30 straight conference contests.
The Wolves’ last win was a 38-35 victory over La Farge on Jan. 11, 2016. They haven’t won in Scenic Bluffs Conference play since beating Royall 46-42 on Feb. 12, 2015.
Wins have been hard to come by for Wonewoc-Center over the past couple years, but fifth-year head coach Rick Field hopes the future will hold more promise for the Wolves as turnout increases among students.
At schools with smaller enrollments, coaches like Field are largely at the mercy of turnout for their sport in each class. He noted turnout for girls basketball has been down the past few classes, but expects that to change in the coming years.
“We just had three classes in a row, unfortunately, that didn’t have a lot of girls that play basketball,” Field said. “It kind of kept our numbers down for a few years. Now, the freshman class has a few in it and our junior high has quite a bit in it. So our numbers will be going up again here in the next couple years.”
The Wolves only lost two seniors (guards Megan Gardehl and Lesa Hollaway) from last year’s squad to graduation and bring nearly everyone else back for this season. Among the returning players on the roster are their top five scorers from last year: senior forward Lexi Wohlrab, sophomore forward Riley Nielsen, sophomore forward Alexis Peesel, sophomore guard Tessa Boldon and junior forward Katelynn Miller. Wohlrab is the sole senior on the roster.
The two new additions to the Wonewoc-Center roster are freshman guards Tessa Gehri and Lindsay Peters. With Field expecting both freshmen to log significant minutes this season, the Wolves will need to deal with inexperience in their backcourt as they seek positive progress throughout the year.
Field knows this season will likely still be a struggle for the Wolves, but a handful of wins would not only snap their losing streak, but could also go a long way in terms of building for the future with such a young roster.
“Just keep everything positive,” Field said of coaching a team mired in a long losing streak. “Always find something positive, even if the game didn’t go well, and let them know and build off that.”