NEWBERRY - Coming off a losing season, the Newberry boys basketball team looks to its youth to step up in order for the Indians to be competitive in the Straits Area Conference in the 2013-14 season.
First-year head coach Hugh Clark said Newberry will likely be starting one senior, two juniors, a sophomore and a freshman.
The Indians graduated two seniors starters last year after a season with just four wins.
Of this year's two seniors, one has not played in three years, Clark said.
"We do have a lot of talent in our young guys," Clark said. "We're hoping to be a competitive team."
Clark expressed high expectations for his underclassman starters, as both have already proven their athletic abilities at Newberry High School.
Dec. 10 - Cheboygan, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 12 - at Rudyard, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 17 - at Munising, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 19 - Manistique, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 3 - Engadine, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 9 - Pickford, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 10 - St. Ignace, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 14 - at Brimley, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 17 - Sault Ste. Marie, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 21 - at Manistique, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 24 - at Cheboygan, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 27 - at Engadine, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 30 - Rudyard, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 7 - Detour, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 11 - at Pickford, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 14 - at St. Ignace, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 17 - Brimley, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 21 - at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 25 - at Detour, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 27 - Munising, 7:30 p.m.
Sophomore guard Josh Hood played on varsity last year and was one of the Indians' top scorers. The starting quarterback on the Newberry football team, freshman John Paramski, was pulled up to start as a forward this season.
The Newberry athletic department has been striving to create a more active basketball program, Clark said. The team hosted open gyms, scrimmages and other workouts over the summer to help the players prepare for the upcoming season.
Clark said the Newberry basketball team's goals are somewhat of a balancing act. Long-term, he wants the program as a whole to be more successful, while the short-term goal is to simply to be more competitive this year.
"We have two seniors on the team Darik Marsh and Parris Norris," Clark said. "We definitely don't want to be completely just looking toward the future; we want to win for them too."
The team's chemistry is coming along well so far, Clark said, and the athletes are buying into the system.
"It seems like they're believing in the abilities of each other," Clark said. "Everything seems to going well so far."
Despite being a young team and finishing last season with single-digit wins, Clark said that will not keep the Indians from setting their goals high; their first goal is to win conference.
"We play in an extremely tough conference, but we're still keeping our eye on that prize," Clark said.
Newberry kicks off its season at home against Cheboygan on Tuesday, Dec. 10.