FAIRBORN - Not a lot will look different for Upper Sandusky next year. Only one girl from the Rams' state semifinalist squad won't be back.
But that one person just happens to be perhaps the best player in program history - Taylor Graboski.
"I always laugh when people say 'oh, you're just losing one senior. That's like the Justice League losing Superman," Upper Sandusky coach Matthew McConnaughey said. "She's more than just one normal human. She's done a great job for our program; she's put it on the map."
Upper Sandusky’s Taylor Graboski attacks as Versailles’ Lauren Bruns goes up to block Friday in Fairborn.
It's hard to say how much one person means to a program, but the numbers don't lie. Four years ago, no one thought of Upper Sandusky as being a state power. The last time Upper Sandusky won a conference title was in 1995. The team had never made it out of districts.
Now the Rams are one of the four best Division III programs in the state.
Next week, Graboski will sign with Valparaiso to continue her career at the next level. McConnaughey can attest to the type of, not only athlete, but person and leader the Crusaders are getting.
"She's played her heart out every single time she's been on the court. Also, she's the heart of our team. She's the one that supports her teammates and lifts them up," he said. "She's one of the goofiest human beings on the Earth. They're going to miss that and I'm going to miss that."
Hopefully the rest of the Rams who will be back looking to make another run next season can learn some lessons from Graboski when it comes to the intangibles she brings to a floor with her leadership, work ethic and never-ending drive to make her team the best it can be.
Libero Jenna Holly will return next year, but admits the team won't be the same without Graboski. Although she and several others are in position to make her senior year just as special as her junior one.
"It's going to be so different next year," she said. "I think we can do a lot actually, and just have a lot of fun. It's my senior year, go out and have fun. We're losing her. We still have hitters, but I still think we can do pretty good."
Without a doubt Upper Sandusky as the tools coming back for another run. Holly returns to lead a defense that never let the ball hit the ground without a fight. Her sister Jessi brings back more than 300 kills to the front line, and fellow hitters Molly Owens and Kalene Johnson will make sure the Rams maintain a potent offense.
McConnaughey says the limit has not been reached on how good they can be.
"I don't think we've seen their full potential," he said. "We have great talent, we have great girls. I definitely think we're going to have a great year next year."
But the one person assured of coming back to Wright State is Graboski. Her Crusaders are members of the Horizon League along with Wright State. She says she's already looking forward to playing in the kind of atmosphere again that she saw at state.
"It's really great," she said. "It's kind of going to give me chills, because knowing that I have four years of that kind of atmosphere playing on those kind of floors, it's kind of breathtaking knowing I get that opportunity."
But when she steps back on the Nutter Center floor where her high school career ended, she already knows what she's looking for.
"Hopefully it'll be unfinished business."
And if Upper Sandusky can find a way to fill her shoes in all areas, the Rams can be back to take care of their unfinished business, too.