Team Spotlight: Stanwood Spartans

Coach Nate DuChesne at Stanwood heads into the 2003-2004 season facing something he has not had to face for four years, basketball without talented point guard Ryan Appleby.

Appleby started since day-one of his freshman year for the Spartans and has taken his game to the University of Florida.

DuChesne returns just one starter from a year ago, 6-4 forward Todd Hinderman (5.7 ppg/5.5 rebounds). 5-11 senior wing Chris Boser played significant minutes last year.

Stepping up to the late game are 6-0 senior guard Josh Aufai, 5-9 junior guard Daes Kaufman, 6-4 junior forward Dan Welk, 6-0 junior guard Nathan Kloke and 6-1 sophomore guard Chris Cayford.

DuChesne talked to his team's strength. "Our post players had a good summer and our overall shooting should be improved from last season," the coach told us.

"We are hurting for experience at the varsity level though," he added.

"We didn't win a lot of games this summer but many of our kids got better individually" he said of the Spartan's work during the off season.

And when asked about who had the inside track to win the WesCo North, DuChesne gave props to his alma mater. "Snohomish," like every other WesCo coach we asked. "Mount Vernon and Lake Stevens will be very good as well," DuChesne added."

As for a sleeper team in the league? "Monroe will surprise some people. They have some experienced kids and they played well this summer."

When we had a chance to sit and talk hoops last year DuChesne had spoken about his group of freshmen. He mentioned that there were days that they were giving his varsity guys all that they could handle in practice.

"Our freshmen were 20-0 last year. A few will help us this year, but we'll keep several of them on JV for a year. Most of them are not physically ready for the varsity level."

"We could be OK again in a year or two depending on how they develop."

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