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Long-time Racine St. Cat’s assistant coach Ryan Thompson is looking to carry on the tradition of Angels basketball with a youthful squad in his first season as head coach. Thompson takes over for former head coach, UW-Stevens Point national championship-winning basketball player, Nick Bennett. 

 After winning the WIAA Division 3 State Championship over Lake Country Lutheran last season, the Angels currently sit at 6-4 overall and 3-0 in the Metro Classic.

Thompson coached many of his players in third and fifth grade, especially in Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball, when those teams were ranked 18th in the country. Many of his players have started playing together and are continuing to play together.

“They share one heartbeat, they are a new group and couldn’t ask for a better group,” Thompson said of his squad in his first season as head coach. “We are getting better every day and we take it one day at a time. We are working hard and having fun.”

Currently, Racine St. Cat’s has four players averaging in double figures with Evan Moherek leading the way with 14 points per game, while Alijah Matthews, Dominic Pitts, and Davion Thomas-Kumpula all average over 11 points per game. Thomas-Kumpula averages a double-double per game as he averages nine rebounds per contest. 

“It is a total team effort and I couldn’t ask for anything better,” Thompson said of his team. “The kids bring it every day. We’re a young team and a little inexperienced, but we’re taking our medicine and just trying to get better.”

The Angels have lost a lot of talent from last season’s championship including several playing at the next level, such as Division 1 talents Kamari McGhee and Tyrese Hunter as well as UW-Whitewater player Jameer Barker. Thompson doesn’t want to put those expectations on his kids and he wants them to be proud of the school’s basketball history. 

“St. Cats has a rich tradition even before those guys last year; we’re here to build off the legacy and tradition,” Thompson said. “We’re fighting for the guys like Bob Letsch and John McGuire in the program and what Nick [Bennett] did in his time. That was a separate chapter and this a new chapter in the book.”

As for the Metro Classic Conference, Thompson sees the conference as the best in Division 3. Currently, his team sits at 6-4 overall and is second in the conference behind St. Thomas More, who is currently 9-1 on the season.

“This is a tough conference as it is a dogfight every night,” Thompson said. “If you don’t come prepared, you are going to get beat.”

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