A third member of the Nashville Hornets Class 2A State Runner-Up boys basketball team will continue their athletic pursuit at the next level. Tanner Bergmann joins Bryce Bultman and Kelton Harre playing sports in college. Bergmann signed to play basketball at Kaskaskia College next season. Bultman will play basketball for McKendree University. Harre signed to play golf at Rend Lake College.
Bergmann, a two-year starter for Nashville, was a key contributor for the Hornets last season, playing in all 38 games. Bergmann said of his choice to play at Kaskaskia College, “I had a bunch of offers to go play football on some scholarships, but eventually I just decided that KC was a better fit. I will be closer to home. I will have my family and my friends still around. I like the coaches. I know a bunch of the other players, some guys playing baseball there, so I think I’m going to surround myself pretty well.”
Bergmann averaged 3.3 points per game for the Hornets last season. Bergmann shot just over 25 percent from behind the 3 point line, and averaged 1.3 rebounds per game.
As for the impact he made on the team, Hornets coach Wayne Harre talked about everything he brought to the team. “From his junior year to the end of this year, I thought he has improved leaps and bounds. Just with the quality of play and the little things he did for us. I thought defensively he was one of our best players guarding the basket and guarding the big guys. What helped us a lot is he could go out on the floor and guard. It really made a good situation for us where he could come out and guard a guard sometimes, or a person that is a little bit quicker and do different things for us. I think the other thing that he did was, he understood what we were trying to do out there. He set picks. Later on, I thought his best basketball was in the postseason. He made some big shots for us and played with a lot of confidence. I think his best basketball is ahead of him.”
Bergmann was a three sport athlete for Nashville. Bergmann was a member of the Hornets football team, and baseball team as well as the basketball team. Bergmann had a senior year for the ages. The Hornet football squad went 8-1 in the regular season qualifying for the postseason. The basketball team set a school record for wins with 35 on their way to a second place finish in the Class 2A State Tournament. The Hornets baseball team surpassed the 30 win plateau, and won a Regional before falling in the Sectional Championship game. Tanner talked about his senior year, “Can’t really ask for more than that. Won a bunch. Barely lost any games. Had a great time. The whole community supported us. A great time.”
Kaskaskia College coach Brian Hancock talked about getting players from winning programs. “ I know the program that they have developed here, with Coach Harre, and the success that they’ve had. That’s what I want, guys that come from successful programs, and it seems like he is really motivated to get involved this season. Obviously a transition into our conference and things, but I think one that he is familiar with, and excited about making so I’m excited to have him into our program.”
As for adjustments to make at the next level, Bergmann, Hancock, and Harre all weighed in. Bergmann said, “I think just the speed and athleticism. I am really going to have to work on getting stronger and getting faster.”
Hancock added, “Just the speed and quickness of our conference. The athleticism of our conference is really good. I think just kind of figuring that out and adjusting to it.
Harre followed up with, “I think he will have to work on his perimeter shooting a little bit, not that he doesn’t do it, but I think he needs to do that and a little bit of ball-handling. Even those he is 6’6 he is going to have to handle the ball a little bit more. He didn’t have to with us, we had so many guards out there, he didn’t have to all the years. He’ll have to work on that a little bit. I’m sure his strength too. He’s probably going to one of the toughest junior college conferences in the country. When he gets in there and starts banging, he’s going to understand he will need some strength.”
While at Nashville Bergmann pointed to the whole Peoria trip this season as his favorite memory. He pointed out the coaches and players for making it a fun trip, and NCHS Athletic Director Alicia Heggemeier for getting everything to run smoothly.
As for his favorite gym to play in, Bergmann didn’t have to think long, “I’m gonna have to stick with Nashville. Nashville is the best gym in Southern Illinois.”
At Kaskaskia College, Bergmann plans on getting his generals done, and may look into going into business.