Summer break may mean time off for many involved in the school system, but for many of the coaches and athletes at Bryan County High School it is business as usual as they practice for yet another upcoming season of sports.
New boys’ varsity basketball coach Ron Lewis and assistant coach Mario Mincey took this summer break and turned it into an opportunity to get a look at their players. The Skins got some playing experience as they polished their skills with four games against Southeast Bulloch and two against Claxton. They finished up the summer with three wins. Wins are always good, but with a new coach and some new faces on the court, wins were not the main priority during this time.
"My main objective this summer was to gain some more coaching experience myself and to get to know the players and let them know what my expectations are on and off the court," Lewis said.
Lewis said he was pleased with what was accomplished even though there is still much work to be done.
"I was pleased how the kids did what we asked of them, and they learned that we are not going to ask them to do something beyond their capabilities," he said.
Catching the eye of their new coach were several veteran players from last year’s squad.
"Thurman Gaines seemed to try and be a leader on the court with his verbal instructions. The younger kids seemed to listen when he tried to help them.," Lewis said. "Winston Johnson and Willie Deloach showed some good work ethics at practice and in the weight room and were also leaders by example."
When asked about any newcomers to the program from rising middle-schoolers, Lewis was quick to point out the potential in several young round-ballers.
"Alex Cruz, Richard Williams and Ben Gowens had some success in middle school basketball and we are hoping to build on that and develop them into players that can step in and contribute during the season," Lewis said.
As with any team in any sport, the area of discipline is a major priority that must be stressed in order to have team success and Lewis said he has that at the top of his list.
"One of our main objectives is to develop quality athletes through discipline," he said. "We must let these guys know that there are certain expectations and team guidelines that must be followed, no matter how talented one may be. We are looking for players that will work hard on and off the court and can set the proper example for others while taking advantage of opportunities to contribute to the team. These guys have to understand that talent is not the only variable for making this team successful."