VanOrder set to play key role for Wildcats


EVART — Plenty will be expected of experienced players like Nolan VanOrder by the Evart Wildcats this season.

VanOrder is among the few returning players back from a team that graduated 11 last winter.

VanOrder, a senior, is ready to take on the challenges that he faces.

This marks the third week of practices for the Wildcats who tip off the 2014-15 campaign next week.

“I think we’re looking pretty good,” VanOrder said. “We started out a little rusty but now we’re really progressing good.”

VanOrder is a three sport athlete at Evart but points out that the team had a busy and productive summer.

“We played for a couple of weeks,” he said. “We were down at Morey Courts and played around the community too, mostly together at tournaments at games coach (Kris) Morgan prepared for us.”

VanOrder acknowledged that it will be a young team.

“But truthfully we have some sophomores and especially the junior class is very strong,” he said. “I assume my roles will be one of the bigger rebounders. We have a small team. I’ll have to play big.”

VanOrder recalls when he had to come up big as a rebounder during his middle school days. But he’s also looking to score some valuable points for the basketball team.

“I think we’re going to be very fast,” he said. “We’re going to handle the ball well too. We don’t want to slow it down.”

VanOrder is confident the Wildcats will have some good chemistry.

“We’ve played with each other for a long time, this group has,” he said. “It should be pretty good.”

The season starts Monday at Montabella and includes a road game Tueday at Farwell and Dec. 12 at Central Montcalm.

The home season starts Dec. 17 with Reed City. The league starts Jan. 6 at McBain Northern Michigan Christian.

“I assume Pine River will be good,” VanOrder said of the defending conference champions.            

The key in each game for Evart will be “score some points, run the ball and hopefully play some good defense, especially guarding down low,” VanOrder said.

He’s also an avid outdoorsman.

“The fishing has been nonexistent,” he said. “The deer hunting has been all right.”