Sulphur girls basketball head coach Toby Todd and his program is coming off the best season in school history.
30-0. Class 3A state champions- the list goes on and on.
But it's a new season, with a ton of fresh faces and Todd couldn't be more excited.
"This year, we are going into a totally different situation," Todd said. "Everything is still wide open. We've had a lot of girls step up and fill roles that have to be filled."
Ranked No. 12 in the initial Class 3A poll released this week, the Dogs will are led by seniors Hali Gilbert, Harlee Griffis, Bailee Bruce and Alli Saunders, Todd has a group that he believes can continue the winning attitude and success achieved over the last few years.
"My seniors have done a great job of leading us so far," Todd said. "They've been around since they were young and they know what it takes. They will all play important roles for us this year."
However, the lone returning starter from last year's squad and the Lady Bulldogs' best player, junior Bailee Eldred, won't get her chance to defend the title until mid-January, due to injury.
"She's going to be out for a little while and that's difficult for us," Todd said. "The girls will have to take on a little more in the scoring department. Bailee is really a great player and is our centerpiece. The girls know they will have to pick up a couple more buckets and some more rebounds to help fill the void."
Eldred was a key piece on last year's title run, especially late in the year and in the state tournament. The junior scored in double figures in all three tournament games.
However, Todd believes, along with his seniors, he has young players that can fill the void and gain valuable experience early on in the year.
"We've got Reilly Williams, who is going to be a great player for us," Todd said. "She's very athletic and very competitive, along with being physical. She brings it on both ends and will be an important player for us through the next few years."
Todd also mentioned junior Reagan Flanery, along with sophomore Jadyn Ramer and sisters Brighten and Devin Dunn contributing this year, as well.
"All of those girls have worked hard and have done well in our scrimmages thus far," Todd said. "They all love to compete and should help out this year."
Even a couple of freshman should have a chance to see some playing time this year, something that Todd is excited about.
"Kaci West and Savannah Ashford will both play up as freshman and our team is pretty excited about that. They can both score the basketball really well and will be outstanding players for us in the future," said Todd.
So expectations are again high, but Todd knows, as he's seen in year's past, this year will be about the process of getting better and building towards February.
"We're coming off a great season and all of that, but it's all history now. It's over," Todd said. "We've got to focus on the here and now and stress the importance of getting valuable game experience."
"For us, it comes down to getting better and building towards the playoffs in February."