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Horsemen retool; set to begin play


November 30, 2017

Will the Horsemen be off to the races again this year?

Fresh off of an impressive 20-4 season, including being the only team to defeat State C champion Arlee last year, coach Mike Cole is guardedly optimistic about his Plains boys going into this season.

The Horsemen lost All-State C and District 14C first team performer Ryan Ovitt, 14C first teamer Alec Cole and second teamer Aaron VonHeeder from that team, leaving second team 14C pick Jay VonHeeder, now a senior, as Plains’ only returning all-conference player.

In spite of the loss of his big three players from last year, coach Cole sees his Plains boys being competitive again this upcoming season, which begins in the Tip-Off Tournament in Frenchtown. The Horsemen are set to play Drummond at 10:30 a.m. Friday and then Valley Christian at 3 p.m. Saturday.

“We will be a little rough at first,” he said, “but I have been impressed with our length, speed and athleticism in practice. We should be all right after we get a few games under our belt.”

Besides Jay VonHeeder, seniors Kyle Weeks, Tanner Ovitt and Sinjin LaDeaux, and juniors Matt McCracken and Derick Curry all return with varsity experience. Additionally, senior Wyatt Weyers, who missed last year with an injury, is back, and senior transfer Brandon Managhan, formerly of St. Regis, will become eligible to play later this season.

“We were a little spoiled last year, that was a pretty good team,” Cole offered. “We will probably have to work a little harder this season but that’s the way this stuff usually works.”

Cole sees District 14C as being a tough place to play this season.

“Arlee is going to be very, very good again this year,” he said, “they have two All-Staters (Phillip Malatare and Will Mesteth) back and a strong supporting cast. Charlo has four starters back, a new coach and are very athletic in their own right and Noxon has all kinds of size returning, they should be tough, too.

“The 14C tourney could be an interesting one,” he added.


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