TELLURIDE – If the Telluride High School Miners boys basketball team is characterized by one quality this 2010/2011 season, it may be youth.
“We’re going to be young,” said Telluride Athletics Director and team head coach Mike Hughes, noting the addition of nine freshmen to the team roster this winter.
“That’s an unusually large class,” he said.
But inexperience aside, the incoming members are no strangers to hard work.
“We have a good group of freshman boys coming in that have worked pretty hard to improve their skills over the summer,” Hughes said. “Some of them will be able to contribute on the varsity level.”
After winning six out of 20 games last season when the team was comprised almost entirely of new or novice players, this year’s influx of new blood leaves opens another door to the sizeable opportunity for growth that comes with a young team.
“You know what you’re building,” Hughes said.
Shoring up the varsity team this year are senior Austin Koenig and juniors Austin Altman and Roger Liljegren, whom Hughes described as “really good cornerstones to build on.”
The regular season gets off to a start at Olathe High School on Tuesday, Dec. 7 and at Palisade High School on Wednesday, Dec. 8, wrapping up at Mancos High School on Friday, Feb. 18 before district, regional and state tournaments get underway.
Yes, the team is young, but the upshot is, “We’ll have a majority that will be back next year,” Hughes said.