Things have been going swimmingly for Hermann ever since Andy Emmons took over as head coach half a decade ago. In his four seasons leading the program, the Bearcats have put together a terrific record of 58-25. And while the 2020-21 season wasn’t a bad season by any stretch of the imagination, it perhaps didn’t reach the highs of recent years.
Hermann finished with an overall record of 14-12 and, as Emmons succinctly sums it up, “Last year we won the Montgomery County Tournament and finished with a 4-3 record in a very tough Four Rivers Conference.”
Things bode well enough for the season ahead, as Hermann welcomes multiple full-time and part-time starters back into the fold. No doubt that key among them is junior guard Holly Heldt (5-10), one of the best players in the area—and one with one of the highest ceilings, too.
Heldt had a terrific sophomore season that saw her land on the All-District team. She has shown an ability to both handle the ball and shoot it, an impressive skillset considering her considerable height. She will be the fulcrum of the Hermann offense this winter, working as both its focal point as well as its prime conductor and distributor.
Also back in the backcourt is senior guard Grace Godat (5-10), another guard with good size. Godat has proven herself able to do just about anything asked of her, whether it’s putting the ball in the basket or guarding a high-volume scorer on defense.
Rounding out the starting guards is senior Cydney Moeckli (5-6). While Moeckli brings less experience to the table than Heldt and Godat, her ability to dribble and push the ball in transition will help to open offensive lanes for the Bearcats this season. Junior guard Iteara Christian (5-6), a quick, nifty player, is set to act as backup across the guard positions.
While Hermann’s backcourt looks loaded, its frontcourt currently looks slightly less so. Slated for starting spots are senior forward Chelsey Moeckli (5-7) and senior forward Malerie Schutt (5-7). Chelsey Moeckli started several games last year, and is more than capable of defending the post, while the exact same can be said for Schutt.
Expect a higher shooting percentage and quicker footwork from both of these two players this season. But most of all, expect them to relentlessly crash the boards on each side of the floor. Providing depth in the paint will be junior forward Shelby Schutt (5-8) and frosh forward Ava Hughes (5-9). Shelby Schutt is yet another high-quality rebounder, while Hughes begins her varsity career with some serious upside.
Emmons likes the look of his squad heading into 2021. “We return our second leading scorer in Holly Heldt and have the potential to hit some perimeter shots,” he says. There is no doubt that Hermann’s guard play will be tantamount to any success they have in the season ahead. And with Heldt leading the way, the Bearcats’ backcourt will strike fear into the heart of opponents. Crucially, though, Hermann will have to improve upon the 46.6 PPG it allowed last year.
Emmons sees a fairly direct route to doing that, saying, “We will have to limit second-chance opportunities.” With a handful of excellent rebounders down low, they should be able to do exactly that. Hermann enters 2021 on the back of a so-so 2020 season, but with some bright things ahead. Expect them to improve on that 14-12 record from last season, and to be a force in the FRC this winter.