Starting Basketball Season


Emory T

Jack W playing for the cougars in a game last season. This season, he will help lead the team as a senior.

Murray, NEB- Conestoga’s basketball teams are starting to make an appearance in the gym. Both the girls and the boys team will be putting in the work to have a fantastic season on the court.

Mark Skiles is the new head girls basketball coach. Kyle Steckler and Abigail Plihal will coach with Mark this season. Last year he was coaching as an assistant alongside Tony Thies. Kyle Steckler was also an assistant coach with Mark. This year coach Skiles has already invented a whole new program for the girls. Coach Skiles says, “I look forward to working with all of the members on the team to become the best team that we can be. The members of this year’s team have been very committed and have worked hard during the off season. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do.”

On Nov. 1, the girls basketball team met up for their first day of conditioning for the year. The girls will have two full weeks of conditioning this season. They will have about an hour and a half of conditioning after school each day. Before conditioning takes place, after school the team meets in Coach Skiles’ room to get a chance to decorate their shirts. These shirts will have words that describe their leadership strong points. The girls will wear them every Wednesday for practice.

The coaches for both the girls and boys cannot coach at the moment because the season has not started yet. This allows the seniors to step up and lead their team during open gyms and conditioning sessions. The seniors take advantage of this time and also get some team building in.

The boys basketball team has also been putting in massive amounts of work to improve for the regular season. Coaching this year is Jason Ahrens. Jason’s assistant coaches are Josh Schliefert and Nick Hegge. After the junior high boys basketball season is over, Jesse Swantek helps the team. Coach Ahrens has coached the boys basketball team for the past 10 years at Conestoga and has lots of experience. His seniors lead the team in their open gym sessions.

Coach Ahrens has high hopes for this season. Jason stated, “I hope this year’s team gets better throughout the season. We have improved greatly from last season already.”