WILLIAMSTON, Mich. (WLNS) – After capturing the Division 2 MHSAA state title back in March, the Williamston boys’ basketball team will have a new look when it takes the court for the first time as defending champs.

Nine players graduated, including three who are currently playing at the Division 1 level, and a new face is running the show inside the Hornets’ nest.

Koji Vroom was hired in July to be head coach after Tom Lewis stepped down to spend more time with his family. Vroom is an Ann Arbor native and has spent time as an assistant coach at Kalamazoo College, Eastern Michigan and University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

“You walk outside the hallway (at Williamston) and there’s trophies from year-after-year. Pretty much every year is the league and district and that’s our goals,” Vroom said. “You don’t get to walk into a program that just won a state title very often.”

With Vroom being new to the area, Lewis has reached out a handful of times to offer support and give the first-year coach an understanding of the program.

“Tom Lewis has been great,” Vroom said. “I’ve talked with him a bunch. It’s unique when there’s no hard feelings between either side, the former coach and the program. His (Lewis) kids have played here and went on to college. So, he knows these kids since they were little, doing a lot of the youth stuff.”

With just three players, all who came off the bench, back from the state championship team, players like senior Brooks Cline are ready to step into a starting role and lead the Hornets to their 11th straight CAAC title.

“I know a lot of people are looking down on us right now, thinking that we lost all those senior and we’re not going to do anything this season, but I think a lot of my teammates understand that and they’re ready for it,” Cline said.

The Vroom era at Williamston will being on Tuesday at Home against Howell.