The Waldorf men’s and women’s basketball teams will start their seasons tonight at Iowa Wesleyan in Mount Pleasant. But before they do, the North Star Athletic Association released the results of its preseason coaches’ poll.
The Waldorf women’s team was picked to finish seventh by the other coaches in the conference. They earned four more points than Presentation, who was picked to finish last. The points are awarded on an 8-1 basis, and coaches could vote for their own team.
Waldorf will return two-time all-conference forward Tina Lair-VanMeter from Jefferson, Iowa. Lair-VanMeter led the Warriors in both points and rebounds last year while ranking top-5 in the league in the same two categories averaging 15.5 points and seven boards per game. She will be playing in her third season with Waldorf after athletes were granted an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic. She spent her first two seasons at Southwestern Community College. Coming into this season, she has 670 career points and 408 career rebounds while wearing purple and black.
Waldorf finished 1-19 overall last season and will also return Taylor Moen, Lizzie Garza, Hailey Maas, Bethany Rehse, Sandra Christian, Kinsey Tweedy, and Lindsay Field to go along with a crop of newcomers and transfers. Katie Schutjer is entering her 8th season and has a career record of 33-151 with Waldorf.
|2021-22 North Star Athletic Association Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll|
|1||Dakota State (S.D.) (8)||64|
|3||Mayville State (N.D.)||45|
|5||Dickinson State (N.D.)||29|
|6||Valley City State (N.D.)||28|
The Waldorf men’s team starts the season after being picked to finish seventh also in the NSAA coaches’ poll. The Warriors received 18 points, eight ahead of last place Presentation, who received 10 points.
Waldorf will be returning some leadership from last year’s team. Both of their all-conference players Quincy Minor Jr and Lorenzo Smith, return for their senior seasons. Minor led the entire conference in scoring with 19.4 points per game and was a first-team all-conference selection. He’s scored 836 points in his Waldorf career and will be a big piece for the Warriors if they are to finish higher than predicted. At the same time, Smith will be leaned on to get the ball to Minor and the other shooters. He led Waldorf in assists last season and was named to the NSAA honorable mention team. If he doesn’t pass it, Smith is a scoring threat, averaging 13.5 points per game last year.
This team will also have a local connection. Tristan Furgeson, a former Bishop Garrigan prep, and Chett Helming from Lake Mills are the other two Warriors who return with experience from last year. Former Forest City prep Noah Miller is a freshman on the team and will wear #4.
The men’s team is young, which uncaps their potential. They’ll travel with a roster of 16, and 10 of them are freshmen. Nigel Jenkins is entering his 11th season with Waldorf and has a career Waldorf record of 121-159.
|2021-22 North Star Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll|
|1||Valley City State (N.D.) (5)||59|
|2||Mayville State (N.D.) (2)||50|
|3||Bellevue (Neb.) (1)||47|
|4||Dakota State (S.D.)||38|
|T5||Dickinson State (N.D.)||33|
|*First-place votes in parenthesis|
Each NSAA member will play 14 conference games this season, with each team playing home and away games during the conference season.
The top six teams in the North Star Athletic Association will advance to the postseason tournament, which is set for an opening round on Feb. 22, 2022, for the men and the 23rd for the women. The No. 3 seed hosts the No. 6 seed, while the No. 4 seed hosts the No. 5 seed in the opening round.
Two opening-round winners will join the top two seeded teams in the NSAA Men’s Basketball Postseason Final Four, held at the Civic Center in Watertown, S.D., on Feb. 26-27, 2022.
The NSAA’s tournament champion will receive an automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament’s Opening Round on March 11-12, 2022. The national tournament’s opening round winners will move on to the final site in the NAIA National Championships, held in Kansas City, Mo. from March 17-22, 2021, for the men and Sioux City, Iowa from March 17-22, 2022, for the women.
Zarren Egesdal is the sports director for Coloff Media radio stations KIOW and KHAM. He can be reached daily at firstname.lastname@example.org or 641-585-1073. Do you have a story idea? Feel free to contact him. Zarren is an award-winning journalist providing coverage to all area schools. You will hear Zarren calling games as the ‘voice of the Forest City Indians’ on KIOW (107.3), the Indians’ flagship station throughout the year.