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MEEKER I Klark Kindler will start his 15th season as head coach of the Meeker High School boys’ basketball team, the longest head coaching tenure of the boys’ program according to local basketball aficionados. The Cowboys are the the defending league champions.
“We hope to do it again but the league is very balanced this year,” Kindler said before practice last Monday.
The Cowboys finished the season with a 21-2 record, losing in the championship game in the first tournament of the season, the White River Electric Cowboy Shootout, to Snake River and in the final game of the season in the regional tournament, where Lutheran ended Meeker’s season.
The Cowboys will be led by seven seniors including Nate Walsh, Tala Ataofa, Fernando Olivas, Stefan Cochran, Wyatt Rowlett and twins Alex and Scott Smith.
“They will provide us with good leadership,” Kindler said of his seniors. “They improved a lot during summer basketball.”
The seniors will get help from Jake Phelan, Jeremy Musgrave, Dylan Mobley and Raul Lopez, all underclassmen with varsity experience.
Kindler said he expects Hayden, Rangely, Paonia and Hotchkiss, new to the 2A basketball league this year, to provide the league competition.
Meeker will open the season Dec. 6, against Crested Butte in the first round of the WREA Cowboy Shootout. Snake River, Moffat County’s varsity, Soroco and Rangely will also be in the bracket.
Matt Dupire will again assist Kindler with the coaching duties.
“We’re looking forward to another competitive year and have good, hard-working kids to do it with,” Kindler said.