Denair High varsity boys basketball is coming off a historic and successful season last year that saw them win their first playoff game in over a decade. Despite losing two key players, head coach RJ Henderson is looking to keep the train rolling and hopefully pick up where they left off.
It will be tough to repeat last season’s success, but the number of talented players on the roster this season are reason to hope.
The Coyotes have a combination of players coming in, including transfers.
Those transfers are Jacob Kuharski from Pitman and Jordan Smith-Sires, who comes in from Fairfield.
Kuharski will be eligible to play on Jan. 2.
“With the transfers… home grown talent and the younger guys who have been playing travel ball forever, it is a chemistry that works different,” said Henderson.
Last year, Denair’s overall record was 17-11 and the Coyotes took second in the Southern League.
Their league record of 9-3 posted them behind Mariposa—the team they fell to twice out of those three losses.
Despite an early exit in the postseason, the Coyotes of Denair ended up breaking a lengthy streak in the process, winning their first playoff game in over a decade.
Denair defeated Bradshaw Christian back on Feb. 13, in a 68-61 overtime victory, in the first round of the Division-V Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
They fell to Sacramento Adventist in the second round, 67-36.
“So last year we get our first playoff win in 12 years. Now we set our goals higher and that is fun to be around,” said Henderson.
Along with Kuharski and Smith-Sires, this year’s team consists of Jack Henderson, Connor Leonard, Cooper Feldman, Mario Plasencia, Austin Upfold, Hayden Feldman, Elvis Silva, Trey Mundello and Brigg Wenstrand.
The Southern League will be tough to capture as Mariposa County has dominated over the last half decade.
“My whole thing with league, the Southern League, is that Mariposa needs to get knocked out by somebody, because they have been either outright or co-champs since RC left our league,” Henderson added. “Until someone does that then they are still the champs. So, we need to stay hungry… now what we have is a talent to compete for a league title.”