Rolling Meadows knew it would be a challenge to replace a senior-dominated group, led by Daily Herald all-area picks Brian Nelms, Michael Rose and Tyler Gaedele, from a team that won last seasons Mid-Suburban East title.
The challenges have ranged from inexperience to injuries to key players to the five-game losing streak the Mustangs (5-15) take into tonights visit from Hersey. In an MSL doubleheader, the girls programs tip off at 6 p.m., followed by the boys at 7:30 p.m.
Despite losing the last three games by a combined total of 7 points, Rolling Meadows is encouraged by the competitiveness it has shown and the cohesiveness thats started to develop.
The last few weeks have been our best practices of the year, Meadows junior Matt Dolan said after scoring a career-high 25 points in Tuesdays 66-64 loss at Grayslake North. Were getting closer and closer.
Its also what Meadows coach Kevin Katovich has seen.
Were headed in the right direction, Katovich said. I keep saying it, one of these games were going to keep fighting and clawing and its going to go our way.
Theyre great kids who do everything you ask them to do and thats all you can ask for as a coach. Theyre unbelievably great kids and you feel terrible for them.
But Katovich and Dolan feel better about the current situation than most might expect. Especially since the Mustangs are closer to full strength than theyve been since senior starters Mike Dolan and Austin Reed missed the beginning of the season because of injuries.
This is the team we thought we were going to have, Matt Dolan said. Now that we have everybody playing together, it gives us more potential to win.