Entries for month: October 2012

Five sophomores return for Blue Devils

Riverland returns five sophomores to the men's basketball team and with an influx of talented freshmen, the Blue Devils have a chance to be competitive in the division.


It's always a tough road in the rugged South Division of the Minnesota College Conference, and the Riverland men haven't been to state in 15 years. That could change with the up-tempo style the Blue Devils can play this season.


Zach Bunch, Marcus Ratliff, Vincent Awoleke, Wayne Canady, and Andrew Lau are the sophomores for the Blue Devils. There are a total of 10 freshman on the roster.


Bunch is 6-foot-2 guard, who averaged in double figures last season for the Blue Devils. Bunch can score off the drive and also is a threat from beyond the three-point line. He had 22 points in last season's final home game, which was a win over Ridgewater.


Ratliff and Canady are both returning guards who can shoot the long ball. Ratliff hit a pair of treys in that final home win last season. Lau is a forward and Awoleke also gives the Blue Devils a presence in the paint.


The Blue Devils liked to use defensive pressure last season to ignite their fastbreak, and they should get even more steals this season. Goliath Oboyo, a freshman from Austin High, was a key part of the Packers press last season on their way to the state tournament.


Riverland coach Scott Koenigs has a good group of returning players and guys coming in that can shoot the ball. If the Blue Devils can keep their turnovers to a minimum like they did the last time the home fans saw them play with only seven that day, then they can be a factor in the divisional race.


The Blue Devils mens team plays the late game Saturday afternoon and then, they play again Sunday at the Minnesota West Classic.


By Scott A. Kolb
The Post-Bulletin, Austin MN