MIDDLETOWN — With just three seniors on the roster, the Shenandoah boys basketball team will have a new look this season.
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
After winning a total of 12 games in the past two years, a bit of a shakeup could be just what the doctor ordered.
“We’re making strides,” Raiders coach Aaron Cain said. “Just leading into this year, the kids have put more time in the gym, more time in the weight room and more time into themselves and really bought into it.”
Shenandoah enjoyed a 15-win season as recently as 2010-11, and the current seniors were around the program to see how it was done.
Terick Warner, Kyle Demick and Austin Cain get the chance to leave their own mark this year.
Demick averaged 7.4 points per game last season, shot 31.5 percent from 3-point range and had a team-high 74 assists. Cain scored at a 6.6-point clip and hit 31.8 percent of his 3-point shots, and Warner scored 6.2 points per game, shot 51.9 percent from the field and pulled down 68 rebounds.
They’ll be asked to pave the way for a host of newcomers, relying on some of the secrets to success they learned as freshmen.
“They got a taste of (winning),” coach Cain said. “And once you get a taste, that’s what you want to get back to. These kids have really done a good job in the offseason of working.”
Junior Jared Wininger will take over at point guard, and he’ll be joined on the roster by classmates Eric Demick and Stephen Marshall, who is recovering from a foot injury suffered during the football season. Other newcomers include sophomore Mason Griggs and freshman Gavin Griggs.
The Raiders (7-14) stumbled down the stretch last season with nine losses in their final 10 games. But they showed promise with a 6-5 start to follow up a difficult 5-16 campaign in 2011-12. Amidst all the change, the Class 2A Sectional 40 field remains a constant. Frankton won the postseason title two years ago — scoring the first sectional championship in program history — and Wapahani reclaimed it last season with a two-point win in double overtime.
Shenandoah has its work cut out to get to the level of those two schools, but there’s no reason the program can’t take a few more steps forward this winter.
“We’re going to have some new faces out there this year,” Cain said. “One thing I can assure you, we’re going to be an exciting team and fun to watch.”