MT. PLEASANT—It took a few years to do it, but last year the North Sanpete boys’ basketball team, led by Coach Cris Hoopes, fought their way to a winning record.
Now, Hoopes is teaching sports psychology at Westlake High School, and the Hawks will have a tall task ahead of them to make sure that this season is more than just a push of the reset button.
Stepping into the head role for the Hawks is former assistant coach Bill Pollock, who was unable to be reached for comment prior to this preview.
North Sanpete graduated a small crop of seniors last year on a very deep roster, and many players will be returning. Most notable of the returners is senior Landon Bowles, who was the team’s second-leading scorer with 9.19 points per game. Bowles was impactful all throughout last season, but was a much bigger factor in the last three games of the regular season when he put up double figures in all three games, including a season-high 38 points against Delta.
The Hawks have struggled in past years to stay competitive in region competition, but they could help to further buck that trend this season. They were 9-5 last season in Region 14 and 12-9 overall, the first time in several seasons that they had a winning region record.
This season, the Hawks will have one tournament to test their mettle early as they head up to northern Utah in Garland to play in the Bear River Winter Classic. They’ll take on Ben Lomond, Altamont, and UMA-Camp Williams.
North Sanpete will begin their season at home against Grand County this Thursday.