RALEIGH COUNTY, WV(WVNS) — As the fall sports season starts to wrap up, the cold weather brings the winter sports with it.

The Class AAA defending champ Shady Spring Tigers basketball team kicked off their season Tuesday Dec. 7.

Off of the heels of their historic season, the Tigers are looking to repeat their run this year. Shady Spring Head Coach Ronnie Olson and his squad said the work to do so started months ago.

As the team transitions from the rigorous off-season to a regular season filled with expectations, they decided to take in a little more celebration before things kicked off.

“Its an extension of last year with this year you know we expect a packed house the community is excited and even though we stopped in may there it feels like its been two years since we have been on the floor so we are excited and so is everybody else,” said Olson.

They started off the year hosting the Westside Renegades. But this time around, they got to do so in front of a full audience, complete with a band, student section, and fans.

Coach Olson said it really helped to remind his guys what all of the work in the off-season was for. While it played to the Tigers’ advantage, he knows it could affect them in different ways throughout the more strenuous parts of their schedule.

“I think our community is really excited about you know everybody being able to come in and not the reduced numbers and I think the biggest thing is when we play on the road this year we are going to have to play in front of some big crowds so I am interested to see how the team reacts to playing in front of a couple thousand people this year,” said Olson.

The Tigers began the season similar to the way it ended, mounting a forty point victory over the Renegades. Olson said no matter who is on the floor, he is confident in his squad.

“We have a couple freshman coming in we have a freshman starting tonight so Tommy Williams, one of the best players since I coached since I’ve walked through here, his brother is starting as a freshman so you know we have a lot of guys who played last year who are going to play vital roles so we are gonna kind of do it by committee to replace Todd Duncan,” said Olson.

Excitement and expectations fill the tigers season. Only time will tell how the team handles both.

The Shady Spring Tigers travel to Wyoming county to take on the Warriors Friday, Dec. 10, the first game rocking their new threads.