CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — If senior presence or the amount of upper classmen on your roster is an indication that your team will be good, don't tell the London Pirates that.
The Pirates are off to a hot 2020-2021 start and are ranked number 4 in 3A in the entire state. This is not a surprise. London has slowly been building itself into a regional power over the last few years.
This year is different, however, the Pirates have just two seniors on the roster.
"Not a lot of seniors," said head coach Ron Lawver. "But they have been in the program for a long time."
Josh Chesney and Ty Leonard, that's it. Those are the two seniors on a team that took down state powerhouse Cole High School earlier this season.
Each of them has loads of experience playing varsity basketball. They are each four year lettermen.
"For a lot of our practices it's led by them," continued Lawver. "They do a fantastic job of getting some of these younger guys ready for what's expected."
The two players have filled the roles nicely, but it didn't come without some nerves to start.
"At the beginning of the year it was scary," said Chesney. "We have all gelled and everyone is taking their role in the right way."
Leonard has been in leadership roles before. He's been the starting quarterback for football team that past few seasons.
He is taking his leadership qualities from the gridiron to the hardwood.
"I just do the best I can to be a leader and just cater to all of the guys needs," said Leonard.
In a season that has the cloud of COVID-19 looming over it, their leadership is more important than ever. One positive case could put a pause on their season.
"Ty and I have had to be on these guys about staying safe, washing your hands and making sure that you are hanging out with the right people," said Chesney.
The stakes to have a complete season are higher for the two seniors, their London careers could be over in the blink of an eye.
"They've got more years but for us, this is it," said Leonard. "It could end at any moment."