EVART\u00a0\u00a0\u2014 Derek Bowen and Tre Dyer have traded in their football uniforms for basket ones at Evart and are ready to tip off a new season that starts next month. Both are seniors and looking forward to helping the Wildcats be a factor in the Highland Conference race. Bowen is in his second varsity season and recalls playing solid defense last season. \u201cOur team was really good,\u201d he said. \u201cI thought we really had a good chance of making some noise.\u201d He came off the bench last season and is hoping to see plenty of playing time at forward and guard. Defense will be his main role. He expects the team to play both man and zone defense. \u201cA lot of man because we\u2019re quick,\u201d he said. \u201cWe can get the turnover. We have quick hands. We\u2019re going to be good off the fast break.\u201d Bowen is among the basketball players making the transition from football. \u201cBasketball is a lot more conditioning,\u201d Bowen said. \u201cIt will take a couple of weeks to get used to basketball.\u201d Bowen takes pride in his defense. \u201cI\u2019m physical and I box out and I have really quick hands,\u201d Bowen said. \u201cOur (team) strength is probably going to be our bigs and our forwards. We have good ball handlers. We\u2019ll be fast breaking, a lot of layups. We\u2019re going to push the ball hard and try to make other teams tired. \u201cWe\u2019ll have a good bench too.\u201d A winning record will be a top priority, Bowen added. Dyer is in his second varsity season. A special memory for him as a junior was beating league powerhouse Beal City at home. \u201cIt was hard work and dedication,\u201d Dyer said of that memorable win. During the offseason, Dyer did plenty of shooting workouts. Last year, Dyer came off the bench. This year \u201cmy role will be making whatever shots I can and try getting the best plays,\u201d he said. He\u2019ll be playing the center and forward positions. Getting rebounds and hitting some threes will be among Dyer\u2019s main roles. The key in hitting his threes will be \u201ctaking the ones that look good and feel good to me,\u201d he said Dyer is confident the Wildcats can be strong inside. \u201cWe\u2019ll be stronger this year because we have more size on our team,\u201d Dyer said adding that \u201cspeed and our hard work\u201d will be strong assets for the squad. The season starts at home Dec. 10 with Farwell.