KENESAW — There aren’t too many teams in Tribland that have been as consistently good as the Kenesaw boys hoops team has over the last five years. The Blue Devils have gone over .500 each of those five seasons, averaging 20 wins and just over five losses during that stretch.
Kenesaw brings back two starters and eight letter winners from last year, including four that saw significant playing time. The Blue Devils lost some key seniors from last year’s 18-4 team, but Einrem believes his guys can keep the trend of success going if they develop the right chemistry.
“We will have to gel and get comfortable playing together, which will take some time,” said Kenesaw head coach Jack Einrem. “Building depth at the guard spot will be very important, but the kids are excited and looking forward to the challenge.”
Sophomore Tyson Denkert showed his athleticism on the football field and will look to be a key part in Kenesaw’s success on the hardwood. The 5-foot, 11-inch guard scored 5.3 points per game last season. The lone senior of the returners, Wyatt Hansen (6-4) suffered a season-ending injury in the final football game of the regular season, but Hansen will hope to work his way back to the court, where he poured in 7.8 points per contest last year. Juniors Deric Goldenstein, 5-9, and 6-3 Austin Peterson will also be called upon to be key contributors this season.
Einrem expects sophomores Eli Jensen (6-3) and Trey Kennedy (5-11) along with freshman Lane Kelly (6-0) to make an impact as well.
The Blue Devils will start the year playing four of their first five games at home. Their season opener will be Thursday against Blue Hill, and then they’ll host Alma on Friday. Kenesaw will compete in the Class D-1, Subdistrict 8 tournament at the end of the year, going up against Axtell, Franklin, Pleasanton, and Shelton.
Einrem is going into his 11th year at the helm, leading the Blue Devils to a record of 154-64 during that time. In 2018, he coached Kenesaw to the state championship game, where they fell eight points shy of clinching their first state title.