MORGANTOWN — There’s a lot of new regarding the Trinity Christian boys’ basketball team this season. A new coach in Codey Horton, a new classification moving down to AA, a bunch of new players and a new culture that will, hopefully, produce new results.
“I think it’s gone better than what I expected, not from (Horton) personally, but just overall as a program,” junior Carter Hartsock said. “He’s really brought a different point of view for the players and completely changed the culture we have here. It’s honestly just really good to see how much we’ve progressed within these first two, three weeks.”
The Warriors finished with a 6-16 record last season playing in Class AAA, but have moved down to compete in Class AA, Region II, Section II this season. The biggest change for Trinity this season, however, might be turnout. There are 20 players listed on the Warriors’ roster this season, nearly double from last year.
“It’s just been a lot more inviting as a program,” Hartsock said. “Everyone just hops on the train and (Horton) has made it a lot more enjoyable. Kids come and want to stay and some of these kids have never played basketball in their life and he made it a very inviting experience for them.”
The increase in numbers will allow the Warriors to field a JV team this season as Horton said he’s expecting the varsity rotation to go about eight deep.
“I don’t even have a starting lineup yet, but I do know you’ll see those eight a lot on varsity,” the first-year coach said. “We’ll bring up some floaters from the JV to get some experience if we can get them in there.”
In addition to Hartsock, Horton sees leadership coming from senior Levi Teets and junior Ben Lohmann. And he has good reason to, as both Teets (football) and Lohmann (soccer) excelled on their respective fall sports teams.
“It’s not so much their skills, it’s just their leadership,” Horton said. “We always do a competition every single day and Levi doesn’t lose, he just doesn’t want to lose at all.
“Ben’s just the vocal leader, he gets everybody pumped up,” Horton continued. “He’s telling everybody what to do and where to go. He’s just so loud and gets everybody pumped up.”
In addition to those three, Horton expects senior Will Hancox, junior Charles Steptoe and sophomores Aaron White and Chayce Adams to get plenty of run with the varsity squad.
Other sophomores on the team include Brock Shuba, Lucas Kniska, Simon Travis and Austin Hardin. There are nine freshmen on the team as well.
“We really want to see teamwork, we don’t want to see a lot of selfishness,” Horton said. “Every time we make a three-pointer, we want our bench to be alive and we want the crowd to be invested in us. Win or lose.”
Trinity will start the season at home on Dec. 13 with a match-up against Keyser.