North Platte (NPPost) - The weather outside might be frightful, but inside things are heating up for the North Platte Bulldog athletic program as the Winter sports season is about to begin.
For those that didn't know, the Bulldogs compete in all the winter sports (Boys and Girls Basketball, Wrestling along with Swimming and Diving) available in Nebraska and with the calendar turning to December things are ready to get underway.
On December 3rd the high school held a media day for Wrestling and Basketball (Swimming and Diving will be later when they get their suits for pictures). We had a chance to chat with some of the athletes from the sports.
Coach Kaminski comes into this season losing 6 seniors, many of whom were key players over the last few years. He looks to improve on last seasons 4-16 record with a group that he says plays with more passion than he's ever seen. Although the team lost some height from last year, they picked up speed and will be very scrappy according to Kaminski.
The only starter to return from last year is now senior Steven Garcia who will be looked upon to lead:
Joining him on the team is defensive minded Derek Ramos, fresh off a great football season that he hopes will carry into Basketball:
Coach Tyson Hammond enters his second season with a firm idea of his players, what they are capable of and how he wants to go about business. Hammond only graduated two seniors last year so he returns a core of players who are all very familiar with each other. That chemistry lead the girls to a 12-10 finish last year that included a sub-district win before losing to Crete in the District finals, just missing out on an invite to the state tournament. A trip to state is the goal for the team this year.
Callie Haneborg, one of the guards for the team, is expected to be a leader both on and off the court:
Another returner who is looking to step up is softball superstar Abby Orr (who has already accepted an offer to play softball at a Division 1 NCAA school):
It was a very successful previous season for Head Coach Dale Hall in 2018-2019. His team sent five wrestlers to the state tournament and all came back with medals, including one state champion in Darian Diaz (126 LBS). The team itself finished tied for 6th place with Scottsbluff. Coach Hall has a lot of talent returning to the roster this year and looks to have the same type of success, although he would tell you that success like that comes one day, one match at a time. Here is what he had to say: