MFL MarMac returns core from last season’s UIC champion team

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Members of the MFL MarMac boys basketball team are (front, left to right) manager Emme Schroeder, Zach Driscoll, Brock Hackett, Carter Lightfoot, Jaron Wille, Ethan Goltz, assistant coach Mychal Moon, manager Isabelle Kirby; (back) assistant coaches Cory Donlon and Mike Driscoll, Parker Kuehl, Kade McElwaine, Carver Blietz-Bentien, Hunter Meyer, Landyn Miene, Bryce Diehl, Wyatt Powell, manager Aedan Whitney and head coach Eric Dettbarn. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


With two returning first team all-conference selections and another two players from the second team back, expectations are pretty high for the MFL MarMac boys basketball team this season.


Head coach Eric Dettbarn considers expectations an honor.


“People expect things out of you,” he said. “We have pretty high expectations for ourselves, and hopefully we can reach some of those.”


The Bulldogs won the Upper Iowa Conference a year ago, an achievement Dettbarn felt was maybe a year ahead of schedule considering MFL MarMac’s youth.


“We were awful young last year, and a number of the young kids played like upperclassmen in situations. I’m hopeful the experience they got last year will help us this year,” he said. “So far, you can tell they’re coming off football. They’re getting their basketball legs back. But practices have gone really well. The kids are working hard. I’m pleased with the effort.”


MFL MarMac’s starting lineup will include guards Wyatt Powell, a junior, and Zach Driscoll, a sophomore. Both were first team UIC selections. They’ll be joined by junior Carver Blietz-Bentien and sophomore Parker Kuehl, both second teamers.


“We have four key members back that hopefully will play big roles in what we’re going to do this year,” Dettbarn said.


Hunter Meyer, the team’s only senior, will slot in as the fifth starter in the middle. 


“Having his physicality and his ability to rebound and play defense for us in the middle is going to help us a lot,” added Dettbarn. 


Contributing off the bench will be juniors Bryce Diehl, Ethan Goltz and Kade McElwaine; sophomores Brock Hackett, Jaron Wille and Landyn Miene; and freshman Carter Lightfoot.


“We’ll have a lot of kids contributing for us a little bit this year,” Dettbarn said. “We’re kind of figuring that out right now, exactly who and what, but we do have some decent depth.”


Having a more experienced squad this year means less Dettbarn and the other coaches have to go over.


“A lot of the stuff we used last year, the kids know exactly what they’re doing. We’re able to dive more in depth in certain instances. We can do more offensively, and defensively we’re able to do more,” he explained.


Even the addition of a 35-second shot clock this season will impact MFL MarMac little, the coach said.


“We want to get up and down the floor, and we’re usually able to get a shot off before 35 seconds,” he noted.


Along with the Bulldogs, Dettbarn anticipates Turkey Valley, North Fayette Valley and Clayton Ridge to be among the top contenders in the league. MFL MarMac has one main goal: win every time the team steps on the floor.


“I’m not really big on goals,” he acknowledged. “My only goal is for us to play as hard as we can every time we step on the floor and give ourselves a chance to win. Then we can see where it goes from there.”


For the Bulldogs, that started Nov. 28, at Waukon. They’ll play at Kee Dec. 2, then welcome Ed-Co for the home opener on Dec. 5.

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