MAYVILLE — Matthew Hurtienne takes over for Jacob Steger as head coach of the Mayville prep boys basketball team this season, and with that, there’s going to be some changes on the court.
But Hurtienne’s biggest expectation doesn’t have anything to do with Xs and Os.
“As the coach, I am expecting to see the program grow as a family,” he said. “This support will help each player to mature in their competitive edge and dedication to the sport. For the program to see success, each player will set aside their own personal goals for the goals of the team.
“If we fail to do this, we will not meet our expectations.”
The Cardinals finished 5-19 last year and 2-10 in the Flyway Conference. Mayville averaged 58 points per game a year ago, but allowed 66.
With a new year and a new coach, Hurtienne brings in a new offense and defense.
“Mayville is transitioning from a swing-style offense to a high-tempo full-court offense,” Hurtienne said. “Players will be provided the flexibility to read and react to the defense, allowing all five players to play a critical role in our offensive success.
“For our team to see success this year, we will need to buy into the important role that defense has on the outcome of a game. We will primarily play a man-to-man style defense as we work together to challenge the other team.”
The Cardinals Caleb Martin, their leading scorer (22.2 points per game) and rebounder (7), to graduation. Also lost to graduation were Sawyer Breselow and Austin Steger, who both played major roles last season.
Mayville will be loaded with young players, though. Emmit Hurtienne returns as a 5-foot-11 guard/forward and Matthew Schellinger is a 6-foot, 205 pound guard. Alex Nadolski is another guard that could see significant playing time, as could Jackson Mittelstadt at forward.
Senior Dylan Luehring, junior Hunter Herpel, sophomore Joseph Adamson, junior McLaine Ebner, junior Sam Manthey, sophomore Tate Rose and junior Tyler Gutjahr are newcomers to the varsity squad.
All of those players could see playing time, which can only help as the try to climb the conference standings and compete with the likes of defending Flyway champion Laconia (11-1) and runners-up Winnebago Lutheran and Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs (both 9-3).
In order to win, though, Matthew Hurtienne sees only one way.
“Our team is in a transition year as they are learning a different style of the game,” he said. “It is then our expectation that if our players are committed to the program goals, we will see continued growth through the end of the season.”