Team Spotlight: Auburn Trojans

Coach Ryan Hansen at Auburn returns three starters, including his leading scorer, and the Trojans have high expectations coming into the 2003-2004 season.

The young Hansen is more experienced after his inaugural season as a head coach and his team also has the experience factor in their favor.

"We return seven varsity players, all of whom have game experience from last year," Hansen told us.

Chief among those is 18ppg scorer Dan Stafford, a 6-3 forward. 6-7 senior Jon Morehead hit at a 10ppg clip a year ago while 6-4 senior Pace Pendleton added 8ppg for Hansen.

Other key players are 6-1 senior Travis Walker, 6-4 senior Paul Susner, 5-9 senior Jerami Regis, 6-3 senior Daniel Carpenter and 6-3 senior Bryant Claudon.

When talking to his team's strengths Hansen said "we are tough, hard-nosed and have good speed." He mentioned height as a potential weakness.

"We were 30-4 during the summer and played well together," Hansen said.

Hansen lists Kentwood as having the inside track to win the league and adds the Conqs to Snohomish and Franklin as teams who should be considered contenders for state.

And he also has an eye on Kentridge as a team to keep an eye on in the SPSL North.

Summing up his squad Hansen told us, "our team is full of seniors. We are excited about the upcoming season. Our league will be very competitive with Kentwood as the favorite. Also Enumclaw and Kent-Meridian will be very good. Kentridge and Tahoma are going to surprise some people on how good they could be."

And with regards to the run for the big gold ball Hansen offered his insight," the state is always competitive, although I see no outstanding powerhouse that can not be beat."

We like that, a real rat-race is looming in 4A with a bushel of teams who could get hot late and take it all.

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