NEW PARIS — National Trail returns a veteran group of players from a team that went 15-9 team last year. Add in veteran coach Mike Harrison and the Blazers could be primed for a successful season.
The Blazers return four starters off a team which finished 7-5 in the Cross County Conference and tied for third.
“We are a pretty veteran group. A lot of kids have had the opportunity to gain a lot of experience over the last few years,” Coach Harrison said. “Hopefully we can find good balance and make good decisions offensively and find a way to defend and rebound at a high level. If we are able to do those things on a consistent basis we feel we have a chance to be competitive again this year.”
Travis Hunt, a senior guard, returns for his fourth season starting at the point. He averaged 10 points per game and 3.8 assists per game to earn special mention All-CCC.
Senior guard Adam Eyler, who excels on defense, was sixth man as sophomore and started last year as a junior.
Zach Woodall (junior guard/forward), who averaged 9.8 points, 6 rebounds, and 3.2 assists, is a very versatile player that can play inside or outside and really came on toward the end of last season, according to Coach Harrison.
Cameron Harrison is a sophomore guard, who averaged 15.6 points, including school record 69 3’s last year as a freshman. He earned first-team All-CCC.
Other key players returning include Hunter Michael and Josh Bishop.
Michael, a senior post, was the sixth man last year and is expected to play huge role for the Blazers providing inside presence offensively and defensively.
Bishop, a senior guard, provided quality minutes last year off the bench taking care of the ball and playing solid defense with great energy.
Newcomers this year include Evynn Short, a senior guard/forward. He saw a little varsity action last year and is a good shooter who needs to help provide physicality for us this year as well.
Coach Harrison sees the CCC title up up for grabs.
“Our league is more wide-open than its been in recent years. Last year six teams tied for third in the league, including all 3 Preble County schools in that mix,” he said. “I’m sure all those teams and others feel they are right there and capable of competing with the top teams in the league again.”
The Blazers varsity team is scheduled to open the season on Friday, Nov. 30 at the Twin Valley South Tip-Off Tournament. They will meet Eaton in the first game at 6 p.m. On Saturday, Trail will play either South or Dixie at 4 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. depending on results of the first round games.
The junior varsity will begin its season on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 1 p.m. against Eaton. They will play again on Monday, Dec. 3 against either South or Dixie at 6 p.m. or 7:15 p.m. depending on the outcome of Saturday’s games.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH