By: Alex Mercil

Laramie High School basketball starts up next week to kick off Coach Jim Shaffer’s third season as the head coach.

LHS basketball looks to have high hopes for this season coming off of the opening round regional tournament loss to end their season last year.

A junior, Mahlon Morris, is looking to be the team leader this year and lead his team to the state tournament. 

“I hope to be able to at least make it to state this year,” Morris said.

Last season, Laramie didn’t make it out of the regional tournament and their season was cut short.

“Everyone needs to be working hard in practice, and this year guys really need to step up and try and fill Jayden’s [Brown] shoes,” Morris said.

After last season Laramie’s star player, Jayden Brown, moved away from Laramie leaving a big spot in the starting five open.

The absence of Brown changes up the whole game plan for Coach Shaffer as many of his plays were run through his absentee star.

“We are definitely going to have to work harder for our wins and now we can’t rely on Jayden to dig us out of holes,” Morris said.

Laramie basketball has a tough season ahead of them as they have one of the toughest conferences in the state with East High School, Central High School, and South High School.

“Obviously I am looking to win state, but realistically I’m looking to at least get into the state tournament which means we will have to get into the regional championship game,” Morris said.

Laramie also lost one of their other key players, Jake Vigen, which leaves another hole in Coach Shaffer’s lineup.

“It sucks that some players didn’t come out, that had been coming out because they could have played key roles on our team, but we can manage without them,” Morris said.

Laramie basketball has had their ups and downs in the past years.

Under Coach Brown, the team played well and had winning records.

Under Coach Shaffer, things have been a bit more up and down, but he is only in his third season as head coach, so maybe he can turn things around with the up-and-coming classes.

Many people say that the basketball team won’t make it out of regionals, but if they work hard every day, and play with full hearts, they can achieve much higher things than in years past.

“I am hoping to give the seniors this year a great season and hopefully one to remember,” Morris said.

Laramie basketball is looking to come into the fresh new season, as the team to beat this year.

They want to be able to beat teams they hadn’t been able to in years past, and might have that opportunity, with both East and Central losing many key players last year.

Laramie basketball looks to have a great season under head coach Shaffer, and excel towards their goals this season.