Craig Cerise, 11th year as a head coach (second at Cedaredge High School), will be looking to improve on last year's 9-11 record overall. The Bruins finished 3-6 in league play and failed to reach post-season play after losing to Roaring Fork in the 3A District Tournament quarterfinals.
With a few talented players on this year's roster, Cerise and the Bruins will concentrate on doing things that can assure them of a successful year and a post-season appearance.
Helping make the transition to post-season play will be Mike Dallas (JV coach in his second season) and Nate Hawkins (C Team in his first year).
Cedaredge has 32 athletes working for positions in the Bruins' starting lineups. Included in the 32 players are six seniors, three juniors, 10 sophomores and 13 freshmen.
Cerise sees several players who can provide the Bruins with contributions which could potentially land Cedaredge in a post-season appearance. One top contributor is senior Peter Carlson who returns from last season with an 11.8 scoring average, nearly 10 rebounds per game (leader on last year's team) and a team-leading 2.1 blocked shots per game average a year ago. According to Cerise, "He (Carlson) does a lot of things for our team, and I expect him to have a big year. Peter was honorable mention all-conference last year."
Senior Baylee Piper is another top prospect for Cerise. "He is one of our most fundamentally sound players. He became a starter towards the end of last season and has become a leader for our team."
Seniors Craig Claunch and Jacob Lewis are also listed on the list of top contributors for Cerise. "Claunch is our starting point guard and leader in assists as a returner from last year," noted Cerise.
Lewis is a versatile player for the Bruins. Cerise will use him in a variety of roles. "He is a returning starter that can play inside and outside," says Cerise.
Jared Reynolds, a junior, is the Bruins' second leading scorer from a year ago who should improve on his 6.1 scoring clip per game from last season.
Cerise knows how tough the 3A WSL is and explained why it is tough. "This was a tough league last year. Some of those teams have lost a lot, but other teams like Coal Ridge, Delta and Grand Valley bring back a lot of their players and I expect those teams to be battling for the top spots. Those teams will probably be our toughest opponents we face."
Cerise continued with his thoughts on what the Bruins hope to accomplish as the season progresses. "I'm looking for our team to continue improving and try to climb in our league standings by a couple of spots. It would be great for this team to do well enough to get an RPI that would put us in the post-season and challenge the top teams in our league."
The Bruins were in Ridgway on Dec. 5 and will travel to Meeker Dec. 7-9 for the boys' version of the White River Shootout. Opponents will be Rangely, Meeker and Soroco.