Trojan boys enter new era with new coach
CRYSTAL FALLS — Certainly, it was going to take new Forest Park varsity boys basketball coach Kurt Lehmann some time to learn his new team and players.
After all, Lehmann, a native of Monroe and a former coach at Ontonagon, comes to Forest Park without any previous experience with the Trojan players. But that adjustment period may be a bit longer than normal as Lehmann has yet to really see his full squad on the court together.
“Unfortunately, we have some injuries,” said Lehmann, who takes over for Chris Nocerini. “I haven’t seen everyone practice to really see what we’ve got.”
Specifically, returning starting forward Tommy Peltoma has been day-to-day during the preseason with a sprained AC (shoulder) joint, junior Gavin Johnson has had some lingering back issues and senior Daniel Franz has a groin injury and is expected to be out possibly until January.
Even when healthy, Forest Park heads into the 2019-20 campaign with a big task – to replace its top two scorers in Riley Hendrickson (13.8 points per game) and Max Nylund (11.3 ppg.), both lost to graduation. Nylund was a second-team choice on both the Division 4 all-U.P. and Skyline Central Conference teams, while Hendrickson was a SCC first-teamer and a special mention on the all-U.P. squad.
But the Trojans, who caught fire in the tournament last season with a district title and a regional final appearance on their way to a 12-12 mark, do have three starters returning. Joining Peltoma (6.9) are junior forward Tommy Showers (9.2) and junior guard Keall Emmers (8.1).
Showers is a high energy physical player who can score inside and is a defensive leader