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Republic-Michigamme boys basketball team ready to fly this season

The Republic-Michigamme High School boys basketball team includes, front row from left, Logan Hanninen, Fisher Raisanen and Isaac Lawrence. Top row from left, Jacob Erickson, Derek Koski, Brandon Skogman, Sam Dyer and Gabe DuPont. (Photo courtesy Republic-Michigamme High School)

Editor’s note: With the start-and-stop of winter sports seasons this year, The Mining Journal is publishing high school basketball team previews from Marquette and Alger counties over a number of days. This story was written early this month.

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REPUBLIC — Last season was Cody Carlson’s first as the Republic-Michigamme varsity boys basketball coach and he describes it as a “learning experience” being in charge of a young team.

This year, things are different. The Hawks are older and Carlson said he’s got some key players that could bring them success.

“I have a couple seniors in Logan Hanninen and Gabe DuPont and they both started last year,” he said. “Doing what we can, of course with following COVID rules and protocols and everything, they spent quite a bit of time working on their own game at home this summer and in the few short practices we’ve been able to have, it shows,” he said. “They’re stepping up as the leaders on the team and I’m really impressed with them so far.

“And then also Derek Koski, who’s a junior. Derek spent quite a bit of time this offseason, on his own of course, practicing and you can tell. He’s a post player and he’s a good post presence and leader on the floor. Very high basketball IQ and he’s been really great so far. He’s improved a lot from last year, his game and his abilities and I’m proud of him for it.

“And then also I have a freshman this year in Fisher Raisanen. He played JV last year as an eighth-grader and now this year coming up as a freshman, just by what I’ve seen, he really deserves to step up and play for this level. He’s impressed me in practice and he’s doing really well in practice. He’s improving every single day and I’m really proud of him.”

Carlson said during noncontact practices, the Hawks have been working on fundamentals like shooting and dribbling, and although it’s been frustrating not being able to have contact, he thinks that time doing the basics will help.

“Yeah, it sucked that we weren’t able to have contact, but it was really nice to be able to just do something,” he said. “Where some of these kids at home having been doing some of this stuff, but being able to get back with their teammates and get in the gym, it’s been really great.”

Carlson said that his team is eager to finally get on the court against some competition.

“It’s awesome to come in, during noncontact it’s tough,” he said. “Some kids live and breathe basketball and to come out and not be able to go live against each other or play as a team, it takes a toll, but it’s really nice to see the leaders that I mentioned earlier, the leaders are stepping up and the leaders are creating this energy that’s really fun for everybody to be around.”

Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal. net.

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