Girls hoops team opens play this weekend for new coach

New Prague girls basketball coach Luke Swedberg works with his squad in an early season workout in the New Prague High School gym. The team will open its season Friday, Nov. 24, against Stillwater at Hamline University. (Chuck Kajer Photo)

Friday will be a different day for the New Prague Trojan girls basketball team. The team will play their first game in 40 years without Coach Ron Gunderson on the bench.

The longtime Trojan coach took a leave of absence after last season, and Luke Swedberg takes over a program with a long history of success.

Swedberg said the team had a good first week of practice. “Obviously, we have a long way to go before I get to know everyone, and before everyone gets to know me,” he said. “We’re trying to work as efficiently as possible and get everyone working together.”

Swedberg said during summer workouts and again in the first week, he likes the attitude of the girls in the program.

“The best thing I’ve seen in the first week is that the girls are willing to work real hard and learn new things.”

New Prague will compete in the Hamline University Pat Paterson Invitational this week. Their first game is at 1:45 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, against Stillwater and they play at 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, against White Bear Lake.

“Stillwater has a talented team with some really good players in the program. They feature great guard play, we’re looking forward to that challenge,” Swedber said. “White Bear Lake was a state...

To see more on this story pick up the November 23, 2017 print edition of The New Prague Times.