SUTTON — The Sutton boys football team advanced to the championship during the fall sports season, finishing as the Class C-2 runner up. Before this fall, the last time the Mustangs were in the state football championship was 2012, and that ensuing winter season the Sutton basketball team competed for the basketball state championship.

This year’s hoops squad will have to overcome the loss of four starters from last season’s 24-3, state qualifying team. But head coach Jon Ladehoff believes his returners have the talent to stay competitive.

“We have a solid group of upperclassmen who have put in some quality time the past few years,” Ladehoff said. “We have a very difficult schedule and our goal is to be competitive in those games and get to where we are playing our best basketball at the end of the year.”

The only returning starter Sutton will bring back is junior Cade Wiseman. The 5-foot, 10-inch guard averaged 9.8 points and 2.7 assists per game game last year. He had nine points in the team’s first round state tournament game, which it lost to eventual runner up Yutan, 55-45.

Also coming back with experience will be senior Jacob Haight — a 6-3 forward — and 5-10 juniors Quenton Jones. Haight averaged seven points per game while also hauling in three rebounds, and Jones scored at a 3.3 point clip last year.

Ladehoff also expects contributions from seniors Jackson Perrien, Dawson Nunnenkamp, and Eli Skalka, as well as junior Tyler Baldwin. Perrien (5-11) and Nunnenkamp (6-1) will help from the guard position, while Skalka and Baldwin will add some size, with both being 6-foot, 4-inch forwards.

Ladehoff expects last year’s state champion Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur to be one of the top teams in the state, alongside returning state qualifiers Ponca and Centennial — one of the three teams to beat Sutton last season. He also expects Freeman to put together a very competitive squad.

Sutton opens its season with three consecutive road games, traveling to Kearney Catholic on Friday, Heartland Tuesday, and Lincoln Christian on Dec. 14. The Mustangs’ first home game will be against Bruning-Davenport/Shickley on Dec. 17.

The Mustangs, who won the district championship last year, will compete in the Class C-2, Subdistrict 9 tournament at the end of the season. The subdistrict field also includes Doniphan-Trumbull, Sandy Creek, St. Cecilia and Superior.

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