EAGLE RIVER - You can hear the first day of practice all the way across the Northland Pines gym.
"Everybody's out there trying to earn a scholarship and trying to get a look from different schools," senior guard Ryan Peterson said.
That especially applies to Peterson, who has one last chance to prove himself as a leader.
"I expect a high level from my teammates because I know they expect a high level from me," Peterson said.
Head coach Terry Klemett has known Peterson since middle school.
"Ryan Peterson is one of those kids that just does everything right," Klemett said. "He's competitive. He's just done a great job of trying to be that leader and building other leaders as well."
With the Eagles losing nine seniors from last season's team, Peterson will need to be that leader more than ever.
"He's strong," senior Joe Misina said. "He'll bully you in there, he can shoot, he can do just about anything."
Peterson learned a lot of these skills playing summer basketball with the prestigious NY2LA team, which has him competing against some of the best talent in Wisconsin.
"I'm not saying the competition in our conference is low, but you're not playing with four or five or six guys or 10 guys every single night that are trying to get to that college level," Klemett said.
Playing against those guys has taught Peterson a valuable lesson.
"There are no friends on the court," Peterson said. "You can be cool with people outside of the game, but as soon as you get into competing, you have to go out and kill and do what you have to do to survive."
Now he's trying to bring that lesson to everyone else.
Peterson and his Pines teammates will play their first game next Tuesday at home against Three Lakes.
Story By: Andrew Goldstein