The Basketball Program

Crawford Humphreys ’18

humphreys_crawford_5_12792As football season begins to draw to a close, we begin to look ahead to basketball season. Coming off last year’s short playoff run, Craig Dawson will lead a very different team than what we have seen in past years during the 2016-2017 season. This offseason has seen some good and bad changes to the varsity basketball program. Though numerous players will be returning, there will be plenty of new faces on the court this year.

Sadly, though there will be new players, the tigers have lost a majority of the talent from past seasons: Clark Yarbrough has graduated, Max Johns continues to recover from a knee injury, Khalid Thomas will be in South Africa, and Joe Foley has left the school to continue his basketball career in California. Because of this, Coach Dawson will look to his veterans on the bench such as Thomas Bledsoe and Michael Warren, as well as newcomers like DeQuece Carter and Kyle Bilodeau to lead this young team into a tough prep league season.

On the other side of things, Coach Dawson added sixth former Phillip McManamy as a student coach to his coaching staff. Phil has been a devoted manager for the past three years, and will see his hard work pay off as he joins Coach Dawson and his coaching staff in the huddle.2016-9-24-bengal-football-vs-fluvanna-lh-1035

So, Tiger Fans, you may be asking “After all this change, with whom are we left?” For starters, Jameel Wilson will continue to run the floor at point guard, using his speed to breeze past his prep league defenders. He will be joined by Terrell Jana, whose leadership will be key to this very young tiger team. Aside from that, Thomas Bledsoe, Michael Warren, and John Kirven will all be forces in the paint, and will be joined by fourth former Kyle Bilodeau. Sam Deal will be returning for his second season on the varsity squad, and will also be joined by fellow fifth formers Gray Hathaway and Will Wideman.

In the end, all hope is not lost for this young team. Though they have experienced numerous setbacks, the leadership of the upperclassmen will be key to the development and success of the tigers, and the fresh faces will be a pleasant surprise to our fellow prep league coaches. Overall, the biggest contribution you can make to this team is fighting through the cold, going to games, and getting loud! Let’s make our opponents wish they never came to the forest, and, of course, beat the goons. Go Tigers!

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