Veteran Cordova Wolverine squad begins new season

The Cordova Wolverines basketball squad, led by a deep core of returning veterans, has begun practice for the 2018-19 season.

The only graduating senior off last year’s squad that finished second in conference playoffs and made it to State was Cody Sjostedt. The 6-4 All-Star, one of Cordova’s top scorers and rebounders, will be missed, but Wolverine Coach Bert Adams is looking forward to a promising season.

“We’re bigger, deeper and stronger,” Adams said. “We have a solid core that knows the system and will be able to match up a lot better mentally and physically this year.”

“Players know their roles, are confident, and we have much better depth, with a bench that goes ten-deep,” Adams said. “We have been working on being more physical and aggressive, having discovered that is essential for success at State.”

Christian Adams, a 6-3 junior, and Kaiden Graves, a 5-10 junior, will return to be major offensive threats, with 5-10 senior Billy Bailey, 5-5 senior Eddie Gasman, 6-2 junior Keegan Estes, 5-6 junior Gage Frohnafel, 5-11 junior Kaleb Carrillo, 6-2 sophomore Rustyn Bradford, 6-4 sophomore Evan Gatton, and 5-7 sophomore Chrisbelle Pena veterans providing the depth that Adams feels will be the team’s strength.

Also, likely to see action are 5-10 sophomores Aaron Phillips and Quin Muma, up from last year’s JVs, plus 5-10 freshman transfer Trevor Dundas.

The Cordova boys open their season on the road, first against 3A Redington on Dec. 21 and 3A Houston on Dec. 22, and then in the big four-day Rally the Regions tournament in Anchorage on Jan. 2-5.

Right after that the Wolverines will play at home versus 2A Conference foe Su Valley on January 11-12, with the Cordova Tipoff, featuring visiting teams from Metlakatla, Pt. Hope and Palmer on Jan 17-19.

Cordova also has a home conference series against Effie Kokrine on Feb 19-20; and will host the Regional Conference Playoffs on May 7-9.

“I really like the tough non-conference schedule we have this year and am especially excited about-facing Pt. Hope and Metlakatla here in Tipoff,” Adams said. “These guys are ready to go and know what it is going to take to do well.”

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Dick Shellhorn is a lifelong Cordovan. He has been writing sports stories for the Cordova Times for over 50 years. In his Cordova Chronicles features, he writes about the history and characters of this Alaska town. Alaska Press Club awarded Shellhorn first place for Best Humor column in 2016 and 2020, and third place in 2017 and 2019. He also received second place for Best Editorial Commentary in 2019. Shellhorn has written two books about Alaska adventures: Time and Tide and Balls and Stripes. Reach him at shorn@gci.net.