OSAGE | This year, the Osage boys basketball team has the benefit of six seniors, who have all been playing basketball since roughly the fourth grade.

Seniors Colin Klapperich, Nathan Bushbaum, Dylan Aschenbrenner, Lucas Schwammann, Josh Berge and Drew Olson, will operate as the rotating captains for the squad. For Olson and Berge, who have played together since fourth grade, this will be their last opportunity to display the long-standing teamwork between them. In a neat twist, teammate Lucas Schwammann, who once played against them, now shares their common goal - to win their conference and move on to state.

For some, like Bushbaum, Aschenbrenner and Klapperich, playing basketball has been a family tradition.

While some of the seniors have no intention of playing for a team in college, each has come away with some important outlooks on life they have learned from their years of playing basketball.

“My dad and grandpa played in high school,” said Klapperich, the only senior who is hopeful about playing in college. “They come to just about every game.”

The Osage boys basketball team made it to sub-state (the game right before state) in the 2016-17 season. With teams like Cascade, Garner and Charles City in their futures, the seniors acknowledge they have a tough road ahead.

“Our strengths is that our chemistry is really good,” Schwamman said.

While all teams have their strengths and weaknesses, one of the biggest strengths of the Osage team is just how well they know one another.

“We’re really good at communicating,” Berge said. “We know what we do well and what we don’t and we working on what we don’t.”

Working hard is something all of the seniors are familiar with. Many of them play AAU together during the summer to stay in shape. In addition, Aschenbrenner, Bushbaum, Olson, and Schwamman play football together, while Aschenbrenner and Olson are also teammates on the Osage baseball team, as well as run track. Ashchenbrenner also plays rugby.

“One thing I will take away from the years of playing basketball is the work ethic,” Bushbaum said. “Putting in the extra hours to achieve something.”

While the seniors said they felt like they have a pretty good chance of achieving their team goals, they observe the traditions of getting a good night sleep before a game as well as making their traditional trip to Subway before a game.

“One thing that’s important is don’t ever give up,” Berge said. “Never stop trying. You can always do better and be better.”

All of the seniors wish to thank the community for coming to support them at their games and cheering them on as they move through their final season at Osage.

“It will be weird not playing with some people, or not playing at all after this,” Aschenbrenner said.

Outbrain