For the third year in a row, the Union girls basketball Lady ’Cats will be breaking in a new head coach.
Dusty Weiskopf takes over the Lady ’Cats this season after former head coach Grant Young accepted the Washington High School boys basketball top job. Jolene Smith coached Union two seasons ago.
“Our goals are to be competitive night in and night out, and put a product on the floor that is enjoyable for everyone to watch,” Weiskopf said.
Union hosts a jamboree Friday, playing DuBourg and Windsor starting at 4:30 p.m.
The regular season starts Monday at home against Warrenton. Junior varsity action begins at 5:30 p.m.
Weiskopf brings a strong coaching resume to the Wildcats.
A 2002 Sullivan High School graduate, Weiskopf served four years in the U.S. Air Force before working as a student assistant coach under Chris Pilz at the University of Missouri-St. Louis from 2008-10.
From there, Weiskopf became head coach of the Van Buren High School boys basketball team, where he posted a 25-25 record over two years and won a share of the Black River Conference title in 2010-11.
After that, he accepted an assistant coach’s position with Waynesville High School. He was with the Tigers last season before getting the Union job.
Union went 16-9 last season while losing in the first round of the Class 4 District 9 Tournament to Owensville, 40-37.
Weiskopf will have to do quite a bit of rebuilding, with the help of his assistants, Tracy Wall and Nick Kelly, as well.
Union has no returning starters from last season’s team, but does have players with varsity experience.
Union graduated five players last season, including four of the top five scorers. Additionally, three others with varsity experience are not back with the squad this year.
All of that leaves senior Anna Houston, a 5-8 senior guard, as the top returning scorer.
Houston averaged 1.6 points, 1.2 rebounds, 0.1 of an assist, 0.35 of a steal and 0.13 of a blocked shot last season.
Megan Altemueller, a 5-7 senior guard, averaged 1.5 points, 1.2 rebounds, 0.3 of an assist, 0.2 of a steal and 0.1 of a blocked shot per contest.
Ali Overstreet, a 5-10 senior forward, played in seven games last season but did not score.
Junior Bri Clark, a 5-10 junior forward who played in three games, is another player Weiskopf feels could be a key contributor this season.
From there, Union will rely on newcomers, including senior forward Jordan Thorpe and juniors Kayla Kelly and Emily Nowak.
Four sophomores, Cassidy Terrill, Haley Cluck, Emily Bay and Erika Jeffries, start the season with the varsity as well.