PERRY, Ky. (WYMT) -- For the second straight season, the Perry Central Commodores will have a new head coach on the sidelines, but with division one talent to work with, the transition appears to be a smooth one for Shannon Hoskins.
Perry Central is returning Justin Johnson, who has already committed to Western Kentucky. Along with the senior, the Commodores have sophomore sensation Braxton Beverly back.
"Every day in practice, Justin and me is coming out (and leading this team)," Beverly said. "I mean we was upset how we came out last year. I mean our dream is to go to Rupp. I've been there. Justin hasn't. That's his dream. We have other guys who are dying to go and I told them it's a great experience. It's something everybody should be able to experience. That's our goal right now: it's to get there."
"Being my last high school season and all, it's kind of emotional," Johnson said. "Thinking about going to the next level and playing college basketball, this season is going to mean a lot to me being my senior year."
Role players say they will be happy to be the sidekicks of Johnson and Beverly.
"Justin and Braxton can't do it by themselves so my goal is to step it up defensively," senior guard John Toomer, who will be out at the beginning of the season with a broken arm suffered in football, said. "I like to see myself as a defensive player. I'd like to just step it up and pick up what they can't do."
Hoskins is stoked at the team he is inheriting.
"I can tell you it's nice to coach that talent and not be without it," he said. "We are working on being more mentally tough, being more focused every game and just getting in a better shape as far as a basketball shape so we can play as hard as we can possibly play each and every play."
A 20 point loss to Knott Central in the 14th region championship last season is the fuel for this season.
Said Johnson: "We don't really have that much pressure right now until we can show that we are out there and proving that we are the team to beat. That's when the pressure starts coming on."