NEW RICHMOND - With the graduation of four seniors, there are certainly changes on the way for the Wyoming East girls, who, over the last four years, won a Class AA title and finished as runners-up twice.
Rising junior Sky Davidson certainly sees it.
"It sure is a lot quieter," Davidson said. She laughed.
Of course, when you graduate the likes of Jazz Blankenship, Emily Saunders, Brooke Russell and Katie Daniels, you're losing a lot of talent, and a lot of scoring, rebounding and everything else associated with the elite program.
The program is also losing one of the most fun-loving groups ever assembled in the area, especially with Blankenship and Saunders.
"I'm going to miss playing with those girls," Davidson said. "We liked to have fun, probably sometimes too much, but that's when we ended up playing our best."
The Wyoming East girls could be counted on to be the highlight of post-game press conferences at the state tournament, and no song or dance interpretation was safe.
These days, there is a different feel.
As many as two freshmen could end up starting and some of the middle school girls have practiced with Davidson and returning players like Hannah Blankenship and Sarah Saunders, a cousin and sister, respectively, to two of the like-named graduated seniors.
"Sometimes it does get a little intimidating for them, and we know that," Davidson said of the incoming freshmen and middle school players. "I remember when I first came here as a freshman and we had Gabby (Lupardus) and all the other girls. I wasn't really intimidated, because I had played with them all, but that first practice I was wondering if I knew what I got myself into."
Now, after a year of starting, after recovering from a horrific ACL injury as a freshman in the eighth game of the season against Westside, Davidson is the wily veteran.
"I know that more is going to be expected of me, and I am ready for that," Davidson said. "I'm going to be expected to score more. As a point guard I like to get all the players involved, but I like to score, too. I don't have a problem doing whatever I need to do to help the team."
Last season, Davidson appeared in all 28 games (24-4) and averaged 10.1 points per game, 5.9 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 4.0 steals.
She also had a highly memorable triple double of 11 points, 11 assists and 10 steals on Jan. 11, 2019, against River View.
"I never thought I'd get a triple-double but to get it on the exact same day as I suffered the knee injury is something I will never forget," Daividson said. "I was thinking before that game, I'm really back playing basketball again and I was proud of myself for that."
With the season still over three months from starting practice, Davidson is playing with the West Virginia Thunder travel team.
Currently the team is 10-0 in tournament play and they began play in the national tournament Tuesday, July 23.
"This is the first year we have been sponsored by Under Armour and we have played in a lot of big tournaments," Davidson said. "We have a great team. We are a team with outstanding players (Bailee Goins from Nitro and Hannah Roberts of St. Joe's, to name a couple). Whenever coach subs, it's five-in, five-out and I really feel like we don't lose a thing. There are always big-time recruiters there. It's a good way to get seen. I really think I can't help becoming a better player just from playing against the competition we play."
The team will be playing for a national championship through the weekend.
With so much different with the Wyoming East girls program this season, Some things won't change for the Lady Warriors.
"I'm still my normal loud self," Davidson said.