It is still extremely early in the season, and it can be hard to say that some teams are title contenders, but there are also times when it is evident that a team has everything they need to make a deep run in hopes of a ring.

Only a few weeks into the season, we have had an excellent chance to watch Lake Norman in action coached by Head Coach Grant Hodges. Lake Norman has been a program that has found a lot of success as of late and certainly has had the talent to back it up, but when watching this team this year, there seems to be just a little different feeling overall.

Year after year, Lake Norman has been able to rack up the wins and this year seems to be no different. They have impressed early on coming out of the gate with some strong wins, and this team has clear leaders and talent to go along with depth. This team has length in areas, along with experience led by 2025 Tre McKinnon and 2025 Trent Steinour. They also have strong guard play, as they are buying into what their role is and what they can provide. Players like 2024 Santana Lynch, 2026 Nick Arnold, 2025 Josh Yates, 2026 Taurean McKinnon, and several others have stepped up their play early on, especially Lynch and Arnold.

What makes this team just feel different is that this looks like a mature, more experienced group that is buying into their potential, excelling offensively, and improving defensively as well. And they are led by a tremendous coach and staff that should have this team locked in and ready to make a title run. They have the talent to do so and have proved early on that they are ready to make a statement this year.