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New Franklin looks to reload for 2020-21 season

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

The New Franklin boys basketball team had a once in a lifetime experience in 2019-20 after finishing 27-2 overall and 9-1 in the Central Activities Conference.

Although the Bulldogs fell to Eugene in the sectional playoffs to end their season, the thought of missing a chance to advance on in the playoffs is one New Franklin will never forget. 

Fast forward to the 2020-21 season. With only two returning starters back for the Bulldogs, head coach Ross Dobson said New Franklin isn’t rebuilding but reloading for the upcoming season. 

“I am extremely excited to see this group of young men compete at the next level,” Dobson said. “We will be a younger team than what we were last season, but the potential and competitiveness is the same. The players will have to figure out their roles and learn to excel in their roles, but we have a great group and I am just hopeful we will be able to play a full season.”

Senior Tysen Dowell, who returns along with Tre Cowans in the starting lineups this season for New Franklin, said he is very excited to start his senior year. “With all the things going on around the world right now I am very thankful that we are having a season, and I will not take a game for granted,” Dowell said. 

With 10 years of coaching experience, fourth as head coach at New Franklin, the Bulldogs will definitely have to account for a senior class that had two 1,000 point scorers (Gavin Bishop and Tyler Perkins) in 2019-20.

Bishop and Perkins were also a part of an elite cast while earning all-conference, all-district, KMZU Dream Team and KRES All-Star Team honors. Bishop was also selected as MVP in the CAC not to mention that he also earned all-state.

Of course it won’t get any easier for the Bulldogs in the CAC this season. Dobson said he feels the conference will be competitive once again and on any given night there could be an upset.

“The teams that return the majority of their team typically will be towards the top of the conference,” Dobson said. 

The Bulldogs had a good start Saturday in the season opener against Atlanta, winning 55-42.

Along with Dowell and Cowans, Dobson will also look to Caleb Hull, Tyler Jennings, Blake Evans, Brett Boggs, Sammy Marshall, Owen Armentrout, Clayton Wilmsmeyer and Keaton Eads this season. 

Other key additions are Joe Monnig, Owen Curry, Jake Marshall, Sawyer Felten, Drake Clark, Tanner Bishop and Connor Wilmsmeyer.

Dobson said Dowell was a big part of last year’s team but will have an expanded role this season.

Dowell finished the 2019-20 season, averaging 6.3 ppg along with 3.8 rpg, 2.1 apg and 1.4 spg. He also shot 43.2 percent from the field, 20.3 percent from the three and 52.2 percent from the foul line. 

“Tysen will be a two-year starter, and was our sixth man off the bench as a sophomore,” Dobson said. “He did a lot of the hard work last year, but this year we’re going to look at him to excel not just on the offensive end but on defense as well.”

As for Cowans, Dobson said he has kind of the same roles in that he will be a two-year starter for the Bulldogs. Dobson said Cowans really stepped up when Carter Bailey went down last year with an injury.

Cowans also had a good season in his first year as a starter while averaging 9.1 ppg along with 3.9 rpg and 1.3 apg. He also shot 47.2 percent from the field and 72.6 percent from the foul line. 

“Tre was very helpful down the stretch,” Dobson said. “With Tre, he can run any of the spots. He’s a little bigger than Tysen, so he’ll be more of a post player, but he is capable of playing the wing. Tysen will probably play anywhere from point guard to the five man. The biggest thing we will need from those two this season is rebounding. We’ll also look for Tre and Tysen for scoring as well.”

Dobson will also look to Tyler Jennings to run the point this season for New Franklin. Dobson said while Perkins ran the show the last three years at the point, Jennings is another pretty good player that learned under him. 

Hull will also get the start at the guard position for New Franklin. Dobson said Hull will be more of a defender and will fill Tysen’s role of doing the dirty jobs such as rebounding, guarding the other team’s best defender and running the offense. 

Also, getting his first start of the season is sophomore Clayton Wilmsmeyer. Dobson said Wilmsmeyer will play anywhere from 1-3.

“Clayton is still pretty green around the edges,” Dobson said. “We’re working with him and just making sure he’s not getting frustrated on the offensive end. We’ll also have Tanner Bishop in there along with Blake Evans, Brett Boggs and Sammy Marshall.

“We’re looking at the numbers and we did lose quite a bit from last year, but that’s a challenge to these guys. Again, we’re going to be young, but I think our kids are talented enough that they’ll do well.”

NEW FRANKLIN BOYS BASKETBALL (front row, left to right) Tyler Jennings, Blake Evans, Caleb Hull, Tysen Dowell, Joe Monnig, Brett Boggs, Sam Marshall and Tre Cowans. (second row, left to right) Connor Wilmsmeyer, Sawyer Felten, Owen Curry, Ryan August, Matthew Overall, Tanner Bishop and Jake Marshall. (back row, left to right) Owen Armentrout, Clayton Wilmsmeyer, head coach Ross Dobson, Keaton Eads and Drake Clark.