ALTOONA (WQOW) - It was over the summer when 2019 Cloverbelt-West Player of the Year Keshawn Harris tore his ACL.
That gave the title-holding Altoona boys basketball team time to figure out their season without a key piece.
"It's next man up mentality," said head coach Paul Henrichs. "We've got a lot of guys here. Our JV program was very very successful last year and some of those guys have to step up. We'll continue to look for those guys throughout the year."
The Rails do have a pair of returning second team conference players, who are prepared to lead their team on and off the court.
"Leadership is a big thing," said senior captain Evan Moss. "We've got a couple of new guys on the team, so definitely leadership. Helping out those younger guys, helping them find their roles and just giving my best every day."
"I plan on playing a lot bigger role this year without Keshawn," said senior captain Brayden Turk. "He brought a lot to this team and was a major part of our success last year. But I think we have a lot of guys that can step up and get the win for us."
Back-to-back conference titles still Altoona's main goal for 2020.
"We have a lot of guys returning from our conference championship team and our regional championship team," said Henrichs. "We do have some pretty high expectations here."