New RHHS head coach William Altman and the new version of the Wildcat basketball team have been training over the past month. In addition to some scrimmage matches, they have participated in three camps. Altman reports that the team is looking good and is therefore optimistic about next season.
The program needs an injection of positive energy to follow their notorious record from last season. Parents and fans are hoping that Altman and the new lineup will not repeat last season’s overwhelming amount of game losses.
"Rome wasn’t built in a day," said Altman. "But I can tell you that we’ve got a great bunch of kids who are working hard and are excited about playing."
They hit their first camp, at Savannah State, at the end of March where they played teams the likes of Johnson and Beach. "We did well," said Altman. "We got a few wins and I witnessed players and parents alike gaining some confidence." He added that the losses they suffered were all within nine points.
Their second camp, in early June, was Truett McConnell College Camp in Cleveland, Georgia. They played 14 ball games there and Altman reports that they split their victories.
The following week, they went to Valdosta State and played in small school division. "We did really well there," said Altman. "We had a 5-2 record and even played in the Small School Division Championship game, which we lost in overtime to Toombs County.
They came home to practice and scrimmaged last week to Wayne County. "We lost by just a few points," said Altman. "The team (Wildcats) played really well."
"The kids are excited," Altman continued. "They played hard and I truly believe we’ll experience some success this season. We already have this summer and I only see that continuing into the regular season."
Although there are no more scrimmages or camps in sight, Altman and his team plan on hitting the courts again and incorporating weight training starting next week. They will continue this pattern, practicing two days a week throughout the summer and into the off-season. During the break, Altman is in Lexington, Kentucky coaching others and honing his skills in the High Potential Rick Bolous Blue Chip basketball tournament.
Altman expects more to turn out for the actual season, stating that the number of summer players was a bit low. He said he had, on average, 10-15 players per session and spoke of how some of his players are in football camps. He is confident that word of mouth on the summer success of the program will be a draw for potential players.
Altman commented on a few of the individual players. He pointed out junior Chakiris Moss as being a star player who "is averaging 15-20 points a game." He also doted on brothers C.J. and Robbie Bynum who are "both doing great on defense and offense."