Head coach Ron Schadegg will lead his Breese Mater Dei Knights into another tough schedule of games when the season begins at their own Thanksgiving tournament the day after the turkey feast.

The Knights return just one starter from the club that lost to Cahokia in the 3A regional final at home last March.

Lucas Theising, a 6-foot-4 senior guard, is the only one returning from the 18-12 club.

But there are letterwinners returning, which means at least some of them played some important minutes.

Six-foot-two senior guard Blake Gebke returns for Mater Dei to help out in the backcourt.

Look for Jason Koerkenmeier, a 6-foot-5 senior, to be a part of the frontcourt.

Devin Rensing, a 6-foot-1 senior guard, is also in the mix along with 6-foot-1 senior Drew Tonnies and 6-foot-2 junior Brady Boeckmann.

Coach Schadegg also mentioned Caydn Schuchmann, a 6-foot-2 junior guard, along with Drew Dant, a 6-foot-3 junior forward.

New to the varsity are 5-foot-7 sophomore Jacob Schedegg, 6-foot-3 sophomore Caleb Zurleine and 5-foot-7 sophomore Grant Goebel.

“I feel we can be very competitive for the most part but we will need to improve in some areas to make a post season run,” said Coach Schadegg, who is 308-154 in 16-years coaching at Orlando (FL.) Timber Creek and his Alma mater Breese Mater Dei.

Since his arrival he has led this program to an 82-43 mark, including a fourth place finish in 2A back in 2014-15.

Since that time, the Knights have made it to back-to-back 3A regional championship games, losing both by a combined 10-points.

In the school's boy's basketball history of 63-years, the won-loss mark is 1,133-641. That is a winning percentage of .639.

Only six of the varsity teams from this school finished below .500 for the season.

Coach Schadegg was a starter on one of the best teams in the school's history when they went 30-1 and lost to eventual state champ McLeansboro 53-51 in the 1984 Class A Carbondale Supersectional.

OUTLOOK – The Knights always seem to field quality competitive teams, and they must do this every year because of the gauntlet of powerhouse basketball programs they regularly schedule. It's a “low-carb” diet because their isn't a “cupcake” to be found. This club will be a threat in whatever regional they land in and this schedule that they play will have them ready for the postseason. Like most independent schools, long bus rides and brutal competition is the norm. So is winning a lot of games.

N24-25 Mater Dei Thanksgiving Tournament J23 Madison


@ Belleville Althoff J26 @ Teutopolis
D8 @ Quincy Notre Dame J27 Pinckneyville Showcase
D9 MICDS Shootout F3 Breese Central
D15 @ Piasa Southwestern F9 St. Louis (MO.) North County Tech
D16 Waterloo Gibault F10 @ Centralia
D22 @ Olney Richland F13 @ Bethalto Civic Memorial
D27-30 Mater Dei Holiday Tournament F20 Effingham
J6 Alton Marquette F25-M1 IHSA Regional TBD
J12 @ Effingham St. Anthony M4-M7 IHSA Sectional TBD