BOZEMAN -- High school basketball is right around the corner, and there’s no doubt this season will look and feel different because of COVID-19. In fact, it’s going to be completely different for the Bozeman Hawks with a fresh starting lineup, new players, and even a new coach.
First-year varsity head coach Troy Hostetler is a familiar face in the Hawks' basketball program. He’s been a part of the program for the past eight seasons coaching the freshman teams, but Hostetler took over as the varsity head coach this year when Wes Holmquist made the move over to Gallatin to start its girls program.
“Obviously being in the program for that long, I know all the kids," said Hostetler. "The transition has been good.”
“We grew up with him," said senior guard Tucker Macbeth. "Since my freshman year he’s watched us grow, so I was super excited to hear that he’s going to be our head coach.”
While the transition has been easy, rebuilding never is. The Hawks had six seniors graduate last season, four of which were top scorers.
However, the Hawks' leading 3-point shooter does return to the court this season, Padraig Lang. He shot 42 percent from beyond the arc, but Hostetler is still piecing together his starting lineup.
“Being this young into the season we’re still looking for that," said Hostetler. "We have a good junior class. The seniors will be at the forefront, but we have a good junior class that will help us.”
One senior Hostetler is expecting to make a big impact this season is Macbeth.
"He’s grown maturity-wise, physically obviously," praised Hostetler. "We expect his game to take another level this year.”
"I just want to be a team player and find my role and help my team succeed," added Macbeth. "I mean, that’s the end goal. If I don’t get the stats I’m looking for, that’s totally fine if the team succeeds.”
While the Hawks may be listed as an underdog for this upcoming season, they’re ready to prove the doubters wrong.
“We’re not the tallest or the most physical, but I think we’ll get after it," said Macbeth. "We just have to want it more than everyone else. We just have to go prove it.”
Bozeman will tip off its season on the road against Billings West on Jan. 7.