As the lights of Friday night football get set to dim and the boys of the hardwood gear up for another season, one cannot help but reflect upon what was accomplished by southern Denton County teams last school year in the sport of boys basketball.
The Marcus boys won their second consecutive state championship, the Argyle boys won their first and Liberty Christian made the post season.
As usual, all of our schools proved why southern Denton County is one of the strongest regions in the state for the sport.
The loss of Phil Forte and Marcus Smart will hit the Marcus Marauders pretty hard this season, but Assistant Coach Matthew Kloske is confident his team will step things up.
“We are excited about the upcoming season and the players we have to fill the void left by the departing senior class,” Kloske said. “This year’s team is a great mix of guards and posts that will allow the Marauders to push the ball in the open court, but also allow us to run our half court offense when need be.”
Kloske said he expects Aaron Steele and Sean Campbell to lead the way for Marcus this season, and said the goals for this squad are to come together as a team, work hard and “chase greatness together.”
“We are going to have to play hard, play together, and execute on offense and defense,” Kloske said.
“By doing these things we will put ourselves in a great position to not only make the playoffs but make a run in the playoffs.”
Marcus finished last season with a 39-2 record, and was 14-0 in district competition.
After finishing 14-20 last season with a 5-9 district record, Flower Mound is looking to get back on track this year, and coach Jason Fossett said he is optimistic.
“This is a hard working group that wants to be successful,” Fossett said. “They are doing everything I have asked of them so far. We will be a work in progress early on, but hopefully by district time, we will be ready for the district race. This is a resilient bunch that is on their third coach in just over 12 months.
“We are attempting to build the program back. It has been a tough past year, and we are trying to get the ship headed back in the right direction from the freshman all the way up to the varsity.”
Fossett said he is expecting a number of players to have strong seasons in the 2012/2013 campaign.
“Our backcourt of Ryan Reibly, Jake Feickert and Brandon Langley will need to take care of their jobs on the perimeter,” Fossett said. “We need our bigs to step up. Anthony Knuff, Gearon Littlefield, and Justin Gammill need to help rebound and do the things they are capable of doing. Then we will need some good minutes from Sam Montgomery, Connor Green and Colby Cox off the bench.”
Fossett said the objectives for this season are to get better each game and put themselves into a position to get into the playoffs at the end of the season.
“I think we have to get better each game to have a shot,” Fossett said. “We have to use the non-district season to get used to the new coaching staff and prepare for district. Wins and losses in the non-district are important but more important than that is preparing for district. We need to be playing our best basketball come Jan. 11 when we open district.”
For the Argyle boys, a 31-8 season record earned the Eagles a state championship, and coach John King said his team has lost some fire power from last year’s team.
“We graduated three starters and four seniors off of last year’s team,” King said. “This will be a rebuilding year for us, but our returning kids have worked extremely hard over the past eight months and are ready to take the lead on this year’s squad.”
King said he expects the following players to have strong seasons:
Point Guard Zach Dickerson, senior, who started all 39 games last year and is being recruited by several colleges across the country.
Senior guard Spencer McCloud, who started every game as well last year.
Jonathan Davis, post, sophomore, who is a move in from Peaster and is very skilled and will make a huge contribution.
King said he anticipates Carrollton Ranchview and Frisco Lonestar to be the teams to beat in district, and said his team’s philosophy for success is quite simple.
“We preach effort and unselfishness,” King said.
Across town at Liberty Christian, the Warriors come into the season ranked eighth in the state among large private schools, and after advancing two rounds in the playoffs last year, could have a decent post season run.
Liberty Christian defeated El Paso Cathedral in the opening round of the playoffs last season, but came up short against San Antonio Antonian in the second round, losing by three points to end the season.
At Guyer, the Wildcats finished with a losing district record in 2011-2012, but having moved down a division, should compete for a playoff spot at the 4A level.
Look for Miles Crawford, Jerrod Heard and Justin Griffin to lead the way for the Wildcats this season.
For the Coram Deo boys, an 11-19 season last year has the Lions hungry for more in 2012-2013, and coach Brent Carmichael said he believes his team is up to the task.
“We will be a very young and inexperienced team with a bunch of hungry incoming freshman,”
Carmichael said. “The defense will have an aggressive style. Once our players learn our new offensive system we will be a much disciplined offensive team.
“Our defense will carry us early in the season. Our competitiveness will help us mid-season. I feel we will be a team that no one will want to play at the end of the season.”
Carmichael said he believes Bethesda Christian and Fort Worth Calvary will be the teams to beat in district this season, and said the goals for this year are to maximize the team’s talent level.
“We want to be competitive each and every game,” Carmichael said. “I want my players to believe and approach the district season with championship in mind on every game.”