Dec 3, 2013 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterPatience, practice and improvement. And lots of early season travel.
That will be the mantra of both the Riverton High School boys and girls basketball teams they begin their season this Thursday at a tournament in Cheyenne.
Both teams have challenges and hopes for successful seasons, but they will have to create their success by getting through the Cheyenne schools, Gillette, Sheridan, Laramie, Star Valley plus a Fort Collins team and Windsor, Colo.
Riverton only plays two regular season games against Class 3-A teams, the first against Lander in mid-January.
In fact, Lady Wolverine head coach Ron Porter thinks that this early season schedule may be the toughest that a girls team from RHS has ever played, with trips to Cheyenne, Green River, Sheridan and Laramie for both the boys and girls teams on the docket before the end of the year.
The boys, coming off one of the most spectacular basketball seasons in school history, play a blistering pre-Christmas ledger too and will have less size and less experience as their season begins. Add to that, the Wolverine are already battling key injuries.
Last year, coach Dick Quayle led his committed team to the Class 4-A state championship game after knocking off Gillette in the state semi-final game -- a win that will forever be remembered as one of the most exciting in school history.
Coach Quayle said his team didn't have a great and consistent turnout for summer practice and, even though that is a concern of his, the veteran coach expects his team to improve during the season and be ready to go in the postseason.
Riverton's Lady Wolverines will be young but more experienced this year both inside and outside. A key, according to Porter, will be whether the girls can score.
"We've got a lot of shooters," coach Porter said, implying that he hopes those shots can find the bottom of the net and turn into more points as his team gains experience through the season.
If you want to catch the Wolverines and Lady Wolverines in a home game at Wolverine Gym, you'll need to wait until next year. Literally.
In fact the Wolverines won't play their first home games until the Bill Strannigan East vs. West Classic Jan. 9-11.
Coach Quayle knows his team must be good in March, and he's right.
But both the Wolverines and Lady Wolverines will have to work to improve at a quicker pace than their competitors, and both coaches feel their teams are well on the way with enthusiasm in the opening weeks of practice.
As coach Quayle said, "We need to play some games."
And game time it is.
We are looking forward to bringing the stories of Fremont County high school basketball to you, our readers, as we have for more than 80 years. Have a great sports week. Go Big Red!
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.