NEW PARIS — A new coach. A new system. An very little varsity experience returning.
That’s what National Trail’s boys’ basketball program is facing for the 2021-22 season.
Mike Lockhart takes over the Blazer program after longtime coach Mike Harrison stepped down after last season. Lockhart brings 15 years of head coaching experience to National Trail.
“New coach and a new system,” Lockhart said. “Not much experience returning. The so called experts have picked us to finish tenth out of 12 in our league.”
Lockhart said he likes what he’s seen from his team since he took over during the summer.
“We have had a very good summer and fall as far as practices and skill development are concerned,” Lockhart said. “So I guess we will see if that translates to on the court performances. The players are buying in to what we are trying to teach them.”
Guards Michael Leal and Wyatt House, along with Ethan Murphy are the only players on the roster with significant varsity playing time.
“We hope to play 9-10 players this year on the varsity level. We want to build a quality culture and a quality program. As far as goals and expectations, we want to play to our standards and expectations,” Lockhart said. “
Lockhart said if the Blazers are to be successful it will start on the defensive end of the court.
“We have to compete hard on the defensive end of the floor,” he said. “If we can do that and make some shots I believe we can have a year that is better than what most people are expecting. So we shall see where we land with that. We have a challenging first weekend so I am excited to get the season started.”
Trail opened the season with 56-47 loss to Tri-County North on Friday, Nov. 26. Trail knocked of New Miami 58-41 on Saturday.
The Blazers are scheduled to play at Bradford on Friday, Dec. 3 and will host Northridge on Saturday.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr