Senior Spotlight: Roosevelt’s Continued Rise to the Top of the Standings
The story of the Roosevelt Rough Riders over the past four years has been one of growth. For three seniors, they've seen both the highs and lows.
This year's Roosevelt team is the first start-to-finish class under head coach Mitch Begeman. For Brady Dannenbring, Jordan Waltman, and Robert (Bobby) Johnson, they entered Roosevelt as freshmen when Begeman took over the program. The three watched the varsity team finish 1-22 in 2016-2017 while they were working on improving their games on the freshman team.
Improvement was never a doubt, and all three seniors helped the Rough Riders continue to grow each year. This isn't a story about individual stats, this is a story about helping a program reach its highest potential.
Roosevelt improved from the 1-22 season and fell one game short of the state tournament in 2018. After a two-year hiatus from state, the Rough Riders returned to the dance in 2019 finishing fifth overall. Capitalizing on the strong finish from last year, Roosevelt went 14-6 (15-6 after the SoDak16) and secured the third seed in the Class AA tournament.
This group of seniors has helped lead and establish Begeman's vision of the Rough Rider program. They will graduate and move on knowing that they have left a strong foundation for Roosevelt to continue to grow and stay at the top of the Class AA standings.
Brady Dannenbring, C
- Brady has played on the varsity roster since his sophomore year.
- Averaged 4.8 points/game and 4.4 rebounds/game. Added 19 blocks this year in 21 games.
- College: Winona State University (Football)
"Brady was a 3-year Varsity Player for us playing most of his minutes in his junior and senior year. He averaged just under 6 ppg and 5 RPG in his two years playing but what people don't see was all of the little things he did for our team, setting screens to get guys open, diving on the floor for loose balls, being a leader both on and off the floor, etc. He was a terrific athlete to coach and I will never forget Brady not because of his athletic abilities but more because of the type of teammate and person he became in his four years. I have no doubt that Brady will find success at the next level because the amount of work and preparation he puts in is second to none." - Mitch Begeman
Jordan Waltman, PF/C
- Jordan has been on the varsity roster for two years.
- Appeared in six games for the Rough Riders during the 2019-2020 season. Averaged 1.8 points/game and one rebound/game while on the floor. Knocked down a three-pointer this season, and secured a couple of steals.
- College: Attending Augustana University
"Jordan was a part of our program all 4 years. Even though he didn't play a ton, he had a huge impact on our program. He was a leader/servant to our school/community and most important a really GREAT teammate. He always wanted what is best or the team, no matter what. He was actively involved in our school with student council/best buddies program and many more. Jordan will no doubt have success with whatever he decides because he works hard and will always sacrifice for the greater good. We will miss him dearly but know he won't be too far away." - Mitch Begeman
Robert (Bobby) Johnson, G
- Bobby has spent two seasons on the varsity roster and has been a member of the Rough Rider program since his freshman year.
- Appeared in six games for the Rough Riders during the 2019-2020 season and averaged 1.5 points/game. He added four assists while on the floor this year.
- College: Attending the University of South Dakota
"Bobby was a part of our program for 4 years. He was a tremendous player for us. He developed a ton in his four years. He did not play a ton but again was an unbelievable teammate. He made it a point to get better every year and he worked hard to do that. He will be successful in whatever he decides to do because he works his butt off for everything he does." - Mitch Begeman
Congratulations to Dannenbring, Waltman, and Johnson on great careers with the Rough Riders!
In conjunction with Scott Van Pelt's Senior Spotlight, each day ESPN 99.1 will highlight our local seniors for their accomplishments on the court throughout their careers.
Photo courtesy: Jurgens Photography. Click here to view more photos from this season and more.