Last year, sophomore Elijah Fallgatter and his older brother Brighton were always pushing each other, whether it was on a court or in a driveway.
“We’d try to go out every night in summer and play one-on-one,” Fallgatter said.
And while a freshman on varsity last season, Elijah saw his brother lead the team in more areas than one.
“[Brighton] was just a do-it-all kid,” head coach Michael Wachter said. “He was a 20 points a game, 10 rebounds [player]. I think [Elijah’s] goal is to be better than his brother, which is a hefty goal.”
And now Elijah’s trying to reach that goal is by playing six quarters every game night.
“I play two quarters JV and four quarters varsity,” Fallgatter said.
With slim team numbers, Wachter depends on the sophomore to fill several roles between the two teams.
“JV I play mostly point guard, but when I come in for varsity I’m point guard and post,” Fallgatter said.
Wachter says Elijah will probably play less JV as time goes by so he stays fresh, but the responsibility he’ll be taking on is only going to grow.
“To be honest I would like to work him in to being a little bit more of the point guard role,” Wachter said. “Right now I don’t think Elijah’s quite there yet, but we’d like him to kind of take over that role.”
It’s a lot to ask of a sophomore, but like his older brother before him, Elijah’s up to the task.
Kidder County next plays Ellendale Thursday night at the Jamestown Civic Center.