Head Coach of Ravenna High School's Boys Basketball team, Paul Beranek said, "We've got a lot of replacement to do from last year. We lost 99% of our scoring and 98% of our defense. Basically nine seniors graduated last year and seven of our top 12 did."
The 2011-2012 C-2 State Champion Ravenna Blue Jays are coming off of an undefeated season, but with a new season looming, it's time to focus on right now.
"Right now, the guys have really came and put in some hard work," said Beranek.
"We've got a good group of kids here right now, we like playing with each other," said Senior Guard Sid Teichmeier, "We just have to share the ball and do what we can."
Sophomore Guard Blake Chramosta said, "We're bringing people up that maybe didn't play last year, but still are good and talented and I feel like if we all come together as a team, I think we can fill the void that Connor [Beranek] and Trevor [Cyboron] and Theison [Anderson] and those guys left last year."
Those stepping into leadership roles for this year's Jays will have a winning tradition on their side, but coach Beranek doesn't want his guys to get too comfortable.
"It's a double-edged sword sometimes too because one, you want to maintain it and they practiced against the number one team all last year," said Beranek. "So, they have an understanding. Two, that double-edged sword comes up, they see how easy it is for the top people and they take a back seat and kind of relax a little bit and get on someone's coattail and that can't happen now."
Even though they lost nine seniors at the end of last season, the Ravenna Blue Jays haven't lost a game since March of 2011, but during the offseason, they almost lost a lot more.
"We thought we had done what we were supposed to do!" said Beranek.
And Ravenna had, but an anonymous phone call to the NSAA accused the Blue Jays of allowing a student to participate in athletics before he was eligible forcing the school to forfeit seven of their wins from their state championship season. Five months later, the NSAA ruled that the player was, in fact, eligible and all wins were returned.
"When we heard about it, we knew what was true and we're glad they got it right," said Teichmeier.
"I guess we got all of our wins back, so it's not a big deal anymore," said Chramosta, "but it wasn't a huge deal at the time either, so we're not too worried about it."
All the Jays are worried about is maintaining tradition. A tradition they learned from those departed seniors, that taught them the most important thing is to: "Just keep getting better," said Chramosta.
"A win is a win, but we've got to make sure we keep getting better every game so that we can continue that streak and hopefully keep it together."
The Blue Jays' first game of the 2012-2013 season is against Broken Bow in Ravenna on December 1st.