Coaches around the conference are getting ready for the boys basketball season, which is set to start on Tuesday, Nov. 20. Area coaches believe that they have formed some strong varsity teams that will be competitive this season and promise that some exciting games are in store. We caught up with area coaches to see what the start of the basketball season is going to look like.
Head Coach Dan Spainhour said that the varsity team is finally taking shape. This year, the Wildcats will have 14 players on the team. There are three returning seniors to the team. Josh Spainhour, Austin Furr and Reid Goodson are all part of the starting lineup for the Wildcats.
Last year, Josh Spainhour was an all-state 2AA player. Goodson was an all-conference player and Furr was an honorable mention conference player.
Spainhour said these are key players, which will add a lot to the team. “I think the key to our success will be how well our seniors take over the leadership roles we lost,” he said. The seniors need to “develop into good leaders.”
The Wildcats lost two of their star players from last year: Austin Fleming and D.J. Jones.
Before the start of the season, Spainhour is working to develop the team’s defense. He said that in a tough conference like the Wildcats play in, it is important to “improve defensively.” Spainhour is trying to instill a “level of toughness” in the team — both mentally and physically. Additionally, the team is trying to become better at picking up rebounds.
Last season, the Wildcats had a great season and won 24 games, including the Frank Spencer Holiday Classic. Spainhour hopes to build on that success this year.
“Overall, I hope that we are better by the end of the season,” he said. “We have the potential to be a very good basketball team.”
The Sauras currently have 12 players on their team this year. Head Coach Jason Clark said that he wished the numbers were greater, but that the team has some better “depth” than in years past. “This is a good, solid team,” he said.
Out of the 12 players, four are returning seniors, and they have a lot of “experience” on the court. Mitchell Edwards, Grant Joyce, Brandon Smith and Austin Price will all be returning to the team this year.
“We got a lot of basketball players that can really play the game,” he said. Still, “It’s going to be a team effort to get where we need to be.”
Getting there, means working to take care of the ball in the game.
“In practice, we’re really stressing defense and pushing the ball up the floor,” he said. We also need to work on cutting down on our turnovers, he said.
Clark said that the Sauras are working hard in practice and it will only be a matter of time when all that practice shines on the court this season. “We have everything a good team needs, it’s just a matter of putting it together.”
The Sauras won 16 games last season and Clark has high hopes for the upcoming season. “I’m just looking forward to this year,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a fun year.”
Head Coach David Anderson was not available to comment on the upcoming season at the time this article was written.