BOZEMAN — It’s a new year for Bozeman high boys head coach Troy Hostetler and his group coming off a year where they made the Class AA state championship game. This year’s group however, will look much different.
“We won't have as many shooters as we had last year and we had five guys in the starting lineup that could all knock down threes,” Hostetler said. “We won't have that this year, but we're going to be bigger and stronger inside.”
Jackson Bayse, Trent Rogers, Bryson Zanto and Ty Huse were all-state or all-conference and they graduated.
Even though they may be missing some shooters he has some bruisers specifically from the football team that just reached the Class AA state championship game this Fall making them much bigger and stronger than last year.
“We just had seven of my eight, probably in my regular rotation for the varsity [that] played football and so they've been in big games. They've been in big moments,” Hostetler explained.
The bumps and bruises of a long, grueling football season are still prevalent but Hostetler believes they’ll be ready go.
“They come into this basketball season with a lot of confidence. They come in with some bumps and bruises, too so it'll take us a little while to get through that but we're going to be fine.”
It was Helena Capital who beat them last year in the state championship game at the MetraPark and it was even more recently that many of those same players got the upper hand on the football team as well. As fate would have it, Bozeman plays Capital in the first game of the season Dec. 10 and though the outside looking in might see it as a revenge game Hostetler sees it as another chance to get better.
“Would we like to beat them the first game of the year? Sure. But that's not the goal we're going to set for ourselves, that we win our first game of the year. It just happens to be Capital. They're coming off a tough football season, too. So, you know, score might be 30-30.”