Hawk boys up for promising season
December 24, 2020
The Blue Hawk boys are looking good heading into the 2021 season, but they are tired of looking at each other.
“These guys want to play someone else,” coach Jake Mickelson said. “We are ready to face an opponent, we have played each other a lot and are ready to play someone new.”
As much as they would like to officially get going right now, the Hawks are not scheduled to open season play until January 2 at Troy. Like all prep teams in Montana, the Hawks have been practicing since December 7.
The Hawks have three returning all-conference players, including junior Nathan Schraeder and seniors Cody Burk and Kade Pardee.
Schraeder was a first team District 7B selection and Burk was named second team while Pardee returns to Thompson Falls after being a first team District 14C pick for Plains last year. Proving his overall athleticism, Pardee was also an All-State football player for Blue Hawks this fall.
“Nathan has been starting since he was a freshman, Cody had bulked up and is showing a nice touch around the rim,” Mickelson said, “and it’s great having Kade back, he is just so athletic.”
Also in the mix are seniors Justin Morgan, Roman Sparks, Tristan Subatch and Donte Micheli.
Morgan, who is fresh off a second place finish in the State B cross country meet and recently signed a scholarship offer to run in college, is the Hawks’ best long-range threat with his jump shot, and Sparks has completely converted to basketball after wrestling his first few seasons of high school.
Like Pardee, Sparks and Burk were also named All-State in football.
Subatch, a recent transfer from Plains, and Micheli, provide enviable depth and size (both check in at about 6-2) at the shooting guard position.
“Justin is our sharpshooter and a good player otherwise. And people are going to be surprised by Roman,” Mickelson said. “Folks that saw him wrestle are going to see that he can play some hoops too. He is really active out there, especially on defense and rebounding.”
Mickelson said a couple of sophomores have been looking like they will fit in with the rest of his top-flight bunch as the season progresses.
The Hawks had an uplifting end to the season last winter when they finished up in fourth place in the Western B divisional. tournament after finishing fourth in the District 7B tourney.
Mickelson says the Hawks are active and athletic on the court and expects them to be explosive offensively. Defense may be the key to their post season hopes later on.
“Defense has been our focus in practice,” he said. “We have some guys that can play, it is just a matter of how well we mesh together. It’s been fun in practice so far but we are ready to get out there and see what we can do against somebody else.”