NEW PARIS — Expectations will be high for a National Trail team that returns the CCC Player of the Year, senior guard Cameron Harrison, as they look to defend their CCC title in the final year for the conference.
Harrison, Trail’s all-time leading scorer who averaged 20 ppg last time, alongside senior Tyler Weathington and junior Michael Leal, will help to lead the Blazers after they lost four seniors from last year’s championship team.
“We lost four seniors: Zach Woodall, Colton Toms, Coleton Everman, and Eli Hughes,” Trail coach Mike Harrison said. “Woodall was a special player – top six in career stats in nearly every statistical category, and very good at a lot of things that never showed up in the stat sheet as well. All of those kids provided us with a great deal of maturity, toughness, and winning personality.”
Returning junior Wyatt House and senior Jacob Ray will also help Trail’s transition along with the following newcomers: seniors Caleb Van Winkle, Elijah Stewart and Sharvezz Carter, as well as juniors Ethan Murphy and Lane Koehl.
Harrison hopes to have the Blazers in a position to compete for a championship.
“There are a number of teams that you would expect to be really improved from a year ago based on the talent of the kids in their programs,” he said. “Our hope every year is to improve as much as we can as we go through the process of the season, compete every night, and hopefully when the dust settles at the end of it all we are there in a position to compete for a championship.”
He added that it will be a strange season, but teams that keep things consistent will have an advantage.
“[The team that] can keep things as consistent as possible in a season and a time in general where nothing is consistent will surely have an advantage,” he said. “Coaches talk all the time to young people about controlling the controllables and not worrying about those things outside of your control – but this year has so many variables in which no one has control over.”
Above all else, he hopes the Blazers will be able to play a full season given what has already been lost.
“After all the strict restrictions and cancellations taking away most of the summer basketball activities, and so many kids having lost out on so many ‘once in a lifetime events,’ my main hope is just to get these kids a full and safe season in, and hopefully be extremely competitive along the way.”
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles