Ashland High School's winter sports season begins tonight, when the Grizzly boys basketball team travels to Medford for a nonleague game against the North Medford Black Tornado.
Ashland's girls basketball team opens its 2016-17 campaign at home Friday night against North Medford, while the Ashland wrestling team begins Friday morning at the Phoenix tournament and the Ashland swim team Saturday at the Rogue Valley Relays in Medford.
The Grizzly boys, led again by second-year head coach Sam Osofsky, will roll out a senior-laden team this season as nine of the 12 players listed on the varsity roster will graduate in June, including guards Malik Pippa, Jake Hansen and Peyton Fuller, and 6-foot-6 center McKane Ellis.
Ashland finished 8-15 overall and 4-8 in the Midwestern League last season, losing a Class 5A play-in game against South Albany.
The Ashland girls, coached by Antione Perry, boast what must be one of the least experienced varsity teams in the state. Ten of the 12 players on the Grizzlies' roster are underclassmen, including six freshmen, and there isn't a senior in the bunch. The most experienced Grizzlies are junior guards Mya Elder-Hammond and Alie Voskes.
Ashland finished 3-20 overall and 1-11 in league play last season.
The Ashland swim team will be coached by Todd Lantry and the wrestling team by Adam Turner.