Three tips: what Benson County BBB must do to succeed this season

John B. Crane
Devils Lake Journal

LEEDS/MADDOCK – The 2021-22 season will be a developmental one for the Benson County Wildcats. While Ben Allmaras has prior head coaching experience with the program, it will be up to Allmaras to build his team from the ground up in terms of what works and what does not. 

As the Wildcats prepare for their 2021-22 season, here are three tips they should keep in mind. 

The Benson County Wildcats pose for a photo.

1. Stay bought in 

As the Wildcats go into a transitional period, it will be necessary to stick to the process both in the short-term and long term. It will all come down to one thing: patience. 

“There hasn’t been a lot of success or consistency in a while,” Benson County head coach Ben Allmaras said. “A lot of these young kids, they have really bought into their athletic experience, whether it is in the offseason, weight room [or] getting their buddies to come out and participate. We have had a really good turnout in Maddock number-wise. In Leeds, more of the young kids are getting out for sports, and I think that buy-in shows they are motivated in themselves. It is going to be a huge, huge part of whether or not we are successful this year or in the future.” 

Eight of Benson County’s 12 players will either be sophomores or freshmen (four sophomores and four freshmen). It will be up to the entire team (youth included) to work hard and show grit on the court and away from it with this youth. 

“We are going to be really young,” Allmaras said. “I think buying in…we have a bunch of kids willing to work hard. I saw them in football put in a lot of effort and time. They commit to making themselves better every day. So if we can start that and find some coaches that will be here for the long run, I think that will really help us.” 

2. Keep the energy on both ends of the floor 

Benson County might not have the speed or size. However, the Wildcats must have energy on both the offensive and defensive sides. Without this energy, the disadvantages become that much more severe. 

“Offensively, we are not going to be a very big team,” Allmaras said. “We have a couple of kids that are decently tall. We will play a lot of up-tempo basketball…I don’t want to say run-and-gun, but a lot of up-tempo. As far as defense, a lot of energy. We have a lot of really good athletes that I think we can do a lot of different things, and I am hoping we can get a little creative and create a challenge for a lot of the other teams.” 

3. Let the experience take charge 

On paper, the Wildcats are raw, even on the experienced side. However, their one senior and three juniors do not tell the entire story. Cody Jorgenson – the team’s sole senior – does not have basketball experience at the high school level. As a result, it will be up to the team’s three returning juniors (Lane Benson, Gunnar Larson and Wyatt Hakanson) to shoulder the load. 

“We only have one senior, who I don’t believe has ever played basketball in high school,” Allmaras said. “Then, we will have two juniors who played a little bit of varsity last year, but not a lot. Really, it will be a learning curve for everybody. The older kids, they are getting to the end of their careers, and if they want a memorable run, then they need to pull those younger kids along with them and teach them the way things are supposed to be done, whether that’s in the classroom, at practice or out in the community.”