The Duluth Marshall boys' basketball team hasn't posted double digit wins since the 2011-12 season, and the Hilltoppers haven't had a winning season since 2007-08.
None of that matters this year, though. Duluth Marshall has a new head coach, and with that comes a fresh start.
"As a first-year coach, I'm learning a lot. They're teaching me a lot, and we're in this together," Tom Mitchell said. "We're going to go out and fight every day. We're going to give it everything we have, and the rest will take care of itself."
Mitchell, a Duluth, Minn. native, spent time coaching in the Proctor youth and high school systems before coming to Duluth Marshall. He says his expectations are simple, yet high.
"We want to be the most prepared team, and we want to be the best version of ourselves every day," he said. "Everyone here is buying into the forward thing, and we're going that direction."
Duluth Marshall will open the season this Friday night at home against Greenway, but it's the team's second game that's probably circled on everybody's calendar.
That's Saturday afternoon, a 3:00 p.m. tip against Pine City at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn.
"Knowing that a lot of great players have set foot on that floor is really humbling," senior guard Derrick Winn said. "It'll be an awesome experience. Nothing's easy, but obviously working hard is how we're going to keep going forward and pushing on."
Even Mitchell couldn't contain his excitement about playing where the pros do.
"It's going to be an amazing opportunity for them," he said. "That's a pretty big deal. I would've loved to have the opportunity to play, but being able to coach these guys is going to be so much better."
Tickets to Saturday's game are $15 and are on sale all this week at Duluth Marshall, and they come with a $15 voucher to a future Minnesota Timberwolves game.