CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Being the defending Class A champions, the Charleston Catholic boys basketball team knows it poses a huge bull's-eye to the opposition this season.
However, Irish Coach Bill McClanahan doesn't feel any added pressure on his Catholic team this season.
"It's wonderful to be the defending state champions, but the truth of the matter is that once the season starts, we make no mention of that," McClanahan said. "Our focus is on this year and what we want to achieve.
"It's a wonderful standard to try and maintain what the program accomplished but this is a new year. This year's team gets a chance to leave their footprint on the program and identify their own persona."
The Irish will look to take their first step in repeating when they open their season at Poca on Dec. 18.
"Our expectations are pretty consistent," McClanahan said. "We want to be fundamentally sound, play good team defense, and play our best basketball around the first of March. If those things happen, we will take whatever results we get."
McClanahan welcomes back two starters who will be counted on heavily in David Godwin, a 5-foot-10 senior guard, and 6-4 junior forward Nick George.
"David is probably one of the most skilled players around," McClanahan said. "He is really quick and is exceptional and penetrating the lane. He has worked hard on his outside shot so teams can't just play off him.
"Nick has worked as hard at developing his game as any player I have had. Haston Gerencir did it, Bo King did it a few years ago for us, and Nick has taken his game to another level. I'm interested to see how much it pays off because he has really put in the work."
George provides the Irish with great versatility, being able to play three different positions at the 3, 4, or 5 spot.