This winter's edition of Cuyahoga Falls girls basketball will look a bit different.
Oh, there still will be a Huffman — Chelsea Huffman specifically — but this Black Tiger squad will be a bit faster and more athletic.
Falls, 11-13 in 2017, will have an intriguing mix of players thanks to two returning starters, a host of letterman, one athlete coming back into the program, a pair of transfers and an impact freshman.
"We are looking forward to this season and I think this team will be much more athletic than the team has been in quite some time," noted seventh-year head coach Joe Nowak.
Another possibility for Falls is a deeper player rotation and the potential of a change in style, stressing up-tempo play.
That's an influx of skill sets for a club that really only returns two starters — Huffman and junior Olivia Lemmon.
This is where Nowak has a lot of pieces and parts come into play as team chemistry may be the most compelling component.
One of those Huffman players — Kayla Huffman — has graduated and the four-year wing will be missed.
Also lost to graduation was forward Hannah Merten, a two-year starter who saw some action all four years. Other grads were Anna Steiner, Leslie Sawyer and Madi Davis.
Chelsea Huffman returns as the junior guard, who made honorable mention all-district and second-team all-league.
The 5-foot-10 Huffman is a two-year starter who led Falls in scoring last year at 13.5 points a game and already has 528 career points. She can create off the dribble and shoot 3-pointers, plus pass, rebound and defend.
"Chelsea is skilled in a number of areas and she is extremely versatile," said Nowak.
"On the defensive end, she (Huffman) can guard different athletes, and this year, she may be off the ball more often rather than playing at point guard."
Lemmon is back after the physical 6-foot veteran post led Falls in rebounding last winter with 6.0 boards a game. She added 3.8 points and played sound defense.
"We didn't ask Olivia to score a lot and she has improved a lot in two years," said Nowak. "Olivia has gotten much stronger physically in the offseason and she is more comfortable offensively."
The team's three other starters are all new starters for Falls.
They include 5-5 junior guard Kayla Ramirez, 5-9 junior forward-guard Raygan Corrigall, and 5-6 sophomore guard Emma Brustoski.
Ramirez will be the new point guard and did play as a freshman at Falls as she did not play in 2017.
"Kayla saw some action as a freshman, and she handles the ball well and gives us a true point guard so that Chelsea (Huffman) can play off guard at times," noted the coach.
Corrigall is a transfer from St. Vincent-St. Mary, which reached the Elite Eight in Division II last year. The versatile wing lettered for the Irish as a sophomore and will play a huge role.
"Raygan can handle the ball, she can shoot well from the perimeter, and she is athletic," said the coach. "She can also play inside for us and she understands the game very well."
Brustoski will start for the first time after being elevated from the junior varsity program in 2017.
A standout sprinter for the track team, Brustoski can play off guard, has impressive speed and can defend.
"Emma is arguably our quickest player and is an excellent athlete," said Nowak.
Returning seniors who will be fighting for minutes in the rotation are 5-9 forward Alivia Hamric, 5-5 guard Kelsey Mayes and 5-6 guard Emma Seltzer.
"Alivia Hamric brings some toughness for us off the bench, and she can defend and rebound," said the coach.
Mayes and Seltzer add depth to the backcourt. Mayes is more suited for point guard duties while Seltzer is a promising shooter.
"A strong leader, Kelsey is healthy now and will help at pint guard while Emma is very team oriented and she can shoot well," said Nowak.
Yet another returning letterman is 5-10 junior forward Zoe King, who is a solid athlete who adds size.
Junior Abby Englehart is a player who had a cup of coffee on the varsity last year as a JV fixture. She is 5-8 and can play forward.
"I think that our potential depth could be another team strength as we have some versatility, and could go about nine or ten players deep," said Nowak.
Another player who can make a contribution is 5-5 junior guard Aiamyia Dudley, a transfer.
Dudley is another track standout, who was a state caliber runner in the 800-meter race and relay races for Wintersville Indian Creek.
"Aiamyia is extremely athletic and quick and she can help on defense as well," noted the coach.
Freshman Jenna Roberts is yet another versatile athlete who will make an impact for Falls.
Roberts may be one of the team's better shooters and scorers. She is a promising 5-8 forward-guard, who Nowak believes will play in the rotation.
Falls was set to open the year at home against backyard rival Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy Saturday at 6 p.m.
Nowak expects another deep cast of teams in the Suburban League National Conference this year, led by Division I Final Four entry Wadsworth (23-4) and district finalist Stow-Munroe Falls (24-3).
Falls will host Twinsburg Dec. 1 at 2:30 p.m.
Assisting Nowak this year will be Kristen Wotowiec, who led the JV a year ago. Middle School coach Kristen Marcucci is now the JV coach.