History is on the line for the Shiloh Christian basketball team as its senior class aims to win its fourth straight region championship. That’s a goal that won’t come easy as the Skyhawks lose four starters off last year’s state tournament team.
“We’ve got goals,” junior Carter Englund said. “We have big goals. We have big dreams. I think we’re going to shock some people.”
The Skyhawks’ return to the top starts with finding their identity. Like most teams around the state, they weren’t able to have open gyms this summer, and head coach Brad Miller admits he doesn’t know much about his roster yet.
“I’m going to start out playing a lot of guys and give kids an opportunity to show what they can do and we’ll go from there,” Miller said. “So, they’ll get some opportunities at the beginning and if they want to keep playing they’ll have to produce.”
The biggest factor will be finding consistent scorers after losing Jaden Mitzel, who averaged over 20 points per game last season.
“I’m not afraid to play all the way down to the 15th man, and that’s something we normally don’t have is that much depth,” Miller said.
Miller says the first few games will determine his lineup, but he’ll be relying on veterans Luke Wanzek and Carter Englund to guide the guys around them.
“Main thing that I’ve learned is you’ve just got to keep encouraging them,” Wanzek said. “If they make a mistake it’s okay. It’s definitely a high-pressure situation and your mind is thinking a million miles a second, so just keep encouraging them. If they make mistakes it’s okay, just have to brush it off and keep going.”
Their team and the environment may be much different, but the Skyhawks hope to end their season the same way — with another region five championship.
The Skyhawks open the season on Dec. 17.