Looking to begin a winter-long defense of their CHSAA Class 3A State Championship, the Bayfield boys and new head coach Klint Chandler will retrace their steps back to where the magical 2017-18 season started, and tip off '18-19 inside the same building.
Ranked eighth in the CHSAANow.com Class 3A preseason poll, the Wolverines (19-7 overall last year) will travel north to Englewood to again compete at Kent Denver's two-day Herman Schayes Memorial, and first clash with the hosting Sun Devils (19-5 in '17-18) is set for 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30.
At 11 a.m. on Day 2 inside Yates Pavilion, BHS will battle Federal Heights-based The Pinnacle (15-9), under new boss John Anderson.
And though graduation claimed low-post menace Ryan Phelps as well as point guard Dax Snooks and guard/forward McKay Wells, plus forward Carl and guard Dawson Heide, Bayfield will still return led by a senior core of guard/forward Hayden Farmer, guard Keyon Prior and guard Turner Kennedy.
Now-senior guard Keegan Owens and junior guard James Mottin gained vital backcourt experience last winter and should also return along with sophomore guard Crosby Edwards. Listed at 6'4" last winter, senior post Matt McSweeney could provide Bayfield with Phelps-like height inside.
The BHS girls lost only graduated guard Tiarra Christensen and forward Cinnamon Varnell from a program which finished 7-15 overall in '17-18. That was up from 6-14 in '16-17, 4-16 in '15-16, and 0-20 in 2014-15. Second-year coach Josh Kitchen's unranked Wolverines will begin their new season at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, in Farmington against 3A Navajo Prep, which went 12-14 last season.
Expected to return are a nucleus of players, including senior guard Tymbree Florian, along with sophomore guard/forward Madison Wells and sophomore post Macee Shultz. Sophomore guard Brooke Merchant can also return.
CHSAANOW.COM CLASS 3A PRESEASON BOYS' BASKETBALL RANKINGS: 1.Denver Colorado Academy, 2.Sterling, 3.Parker Lutheran, 4.Colorado Springs The Vanguard, 5.Denver Manual, 6.New Castle Coal Ridge, 7.Loveland Resurrection Christian, 8.BAYFIELD, 9.Kersey Platte Valley, 10.Arvada Faith Christian. Others receiving votes-Carbondale Roaring Fork, Englewood Kent Denver, Alamosa, Delta, Westminster The Academy, Denver Science & Tech: Stapleton, Parachute Grand Valley, Basalt.