WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The defending 6A state champions Wichita Heights High School men’s basketball team is once again ranked first in its class.

The team is led by five players that helped win the school’s sixth state title just a season ago.

“When you return five kids who played in the state championship game, and three of whom were starters, they set the tone every day. My job is just to make sure we have a good practice every day,” said Heights Head Men’s Basketball Coach Joe Auer.

The Falcons have their eyes on the prize, another state championship.

“Everybody takes it serious. We come into practice every day, everyone is focused. Everybody is ready to practice every day. As long as we play defense, I think we should win every game,” Senior Guard Marcus Zeigler said.

While another state championship is the ultimate goal, the team does not want to forget what makes a winning title so memorable – the path they take along the way.

“You want to enjoy each day. Whatever level you’re talking about, championship teams tend to be asked the question, ‘What about next year?’ and that’s a real mistake because you miss out on enjoying the journey,” said Auer.

The Heights men’s basketball team almost did not have arguably its best player this season. TJ Williams, a guard, transferred to Sunrise Christian Academy after last season but ended up transferring back to Heights before the season.

“I came back to be with my family, be with my friends, people I grew up with all of my life. I just wanted to come back home. That’s really it,” Williams said.

Now that the team is reunited, they say they hope the chemistry they built as a team over the past few years pays dividends this season.

“I told my boys the first day I came back, I came back to win. And they all were onboard, so since then, just joined right in, jumped onboard, and we’ve just been ready,” said Williams.

Heights men’s basketball team’s next game is against Washburn Rural and is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17, at Wichita North High School.