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Catching up with Wausau West's Brad Utegaard

12:00 AM, Nov. 15, 2012 EST

BradUtegaard

Brad Utegaard

School: Wausau West

Year: Senior

Sport: Basketball, track

Family: Mother, Lisa; father, Jim; brother, Mike.

Favorite class: PLTW (an engineering class).

Favorite movie: "Glory Road"

Most embarrassing song on iPod: Probably some Beyonce song. "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)"

Favorite athlete: Michael Jordan or Ashton Eaton

(Today) is the season opener. Talk about that excitement and being able to play against someone else besides your teammates: It's very exciting, just to get away from the scrimmages and just to get out there again. Hopefully, this season will go better.

Last year was really a difficult season for West. They say a year like that can build character in a team. Do you think that was the case with the team?: Definitely. We grew a lot from last year and I think will shape us for this season. We got a lot stronger as a team.

Are you guys excited to get back into conference play and prove that last year (0-12 WVC) was somewhat of a fluke?: Definitely. We are out to prove people wrong. We should have had a better season, but it was a rebuilding year.

How difficult of a year was it for you, not only what the team went through but you were out three separate times with an ankle injury, an appendix and strep throat. How difficult was that to see your teammates struggle and not being able to help at times?: I was really looking forward to the year, and then disheartened when I sprained my ankle. I got back to the team and then back to the sidelines. It was heartbreaking, but I wanted to stay strong for them.

You are one of eight seniors on the team this year, what else besides experience do you think is the strength of this team?: I would say size is definitely a strength. We have (Brendan) Lewandowski who is 6-foot-8, and (Andrew) Wolfe who is 6-7. We also have depth in our guards, and are a balanced team.

What do you think is going to be the key for West to have a solid season?: Staying together as a team. When things go wrong, we tend to drop our heads and let it affect us. We just need to stay together and let the little things go. Then I think we will be alright.

 

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