Playing Colonial on Dec. 9, Robert Rimmer dunks the ball. “My favorite part of the game is the energy; it’s really exciting,” Rimmer said. The final score was 54-40. photo/LINDSAY ALEXANDER

Orange blazers are seen throughout the halls on game day. It is a tradition that continues this year  the boys varsity basketball team begins a new season with a new coach.

While coach Gregory Shirley is new to campus he is not new to coaching. Shirley has been coaching high school basketball for 24 years, and this is his seventh year as a head coach. Shirley is coming from Ocoee High School where he coached for two years but then stepped down for family reasons. Shirley missed coaching and was excited when he heard Boone had an opening.

“Boone High School has a great basketball tradition, and I want this team to write their own chapter in the history of Boone basketball,” Shirley said.

Shirley is working with a team of young men he has never coached before but he says it is not a weakness.

“It’s a learning process. The key is for the team to continue to improve on a daily basis. We are learning to work together and trust each other . . . but it will not happen over night,” Shirley said.

The team had their first win against Colonial on Dec. 9. The game was close until the end of the second quarter, but after half time the team came back with a new determination, and won 54-40. Their second win was on Dec. 10 against Ocoee, 68-62.

Shirley sees all his seniors as leaders on the team. Half the team are seniors but only two of them, guards Brody Dawkins and Joseph Martinson, are returning players. Shirley says currently the most vocal leader, living up to his seniority, is Dawkins.

“Our team has a very experienced presence. We know that we don’t have to panic a lot in games; we stay in control,” Dawkins said.

The team also has an able group of sophomores including Samuel Doster and 6’9” Robert Rimmer, who is also a returning player. There is no question why the team unanimously chooses Rimmer as their star player. Rimmer averages 7.5 rebounds per game and 10 points per game.

“Rimmer has a presence on both sides of the court,” Dawkins said.

The team’s first game was Nov. 30, against state runner up Dr. Phillips. Dr. Phillips is a growing rival and sophomore Dominique Wilson scored 20 points. However, they lost 33-64.

“[The game] was disappointing because we knew we could play better than we did, ” Doster said.

Senior Wesley Caplan says the team is disciplined and has good teamwork, though on Dec. 1, the team lost a heart breaker to Bishop Moore. With 10 seconds left on the clock the score was 46-49 and victory was still with in reach. Then Ocoee came back with a three pointer and one more shot, ending the game 49-54.

“We made a lot of mistakes. We weren’t communicating as a team. Hopefully, we will never lose to Bishop Moore again,” Caplan said.

The team also lost to Wekiva and Olympia on Dec. 3 and Dec. 7. The final scores were 36-68 and 62-23, respectively.

Later this season the team plays rival and defending state champions, the Winter Park Wildcats, Jan. 25. The Wildcats have the top player in the state, Austin Rivers on their team but the team can compete with them.  With a new coach and the majority of the team being seniors, spirit should be at an all time high.

“We have a lot of heart. We’re not going to lay down for anyone. It doesn’t matter what the score is. We’re still going to play hard,” Dawkins said.

By admin

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