Developing a successful basketball program takes years of hard work and starts at the bottom level. The freshman boys basketball team took its first step toward becoming the future of the Pioneer program Monday.
Basketball got off to its official start as teams were able to practice for the first time this school year. Freshman coach Stephen Glenn led 16 Pioneers onto the court Monday in hopes of laying the groundwork of a new era of basketball at Warren County.
“We wanted to come out with energy. We kept them moving from drill to drill at a really up-tempo pace,” said Glenn. “I thought the team responded really well. These guys have a mindset of wanting to do whatever it takes to work together and win.”
The freshman team has an extreme mixture of players from all county schools. Former Irving College Tiger Chance Hobbs worked side-by-side his Morrison Eagle rival Caleb Newby in one drill. Wesley Jennings and Cole Estes, the formidable backcourt at WCMS last season, were pitted against each other in another workout.
The talent, even from day one, of the freshman Pioneers is evident. Getting all those skills blended together to form a successful team is the challenge for coach Stephen Glenn.
The mantra since Sullens took over the basketball program has been “everybody is a Pioneer now.” Glenn, who moved over with Sullens from Boyd, has echoed the head man’s sentiments to his team.
“You can see the growth and unity between these guys,” said Glenn. “It’s just the first day too. We still have many more days to improve.”
At guard, Jennings, Estes and Hobbs lead a group with a great blend of speed, shooting and ball handling. Jesse Jones, Thomas Judkins, Christian Locke, Jayren Perkins and Tyree Ladet also are included in the group and are working hard to earn extensive playing time this season.
Newby is a versatile wing capable of sliding down to forward, as is Noah Bost. Hobbs and Judkins also have the size and shooting to space the floor on the wing, while Noah Campbell, Layne Murphy and Brayton Kelsey thrive as slashers.
Lucas Patrick is a springy forward who patrols the paint on both ends. The county MVP last season, Patrick will share rebounding duties with Bunker Brock and Douglas Nelson, who provide size and strength in the middle.
One freshman Glenn won’t have at his disposal this season is Isaiah Grayson. The former WCMS Pioneer was moved to the varsity level during summer camp and projects as an immediate impact player for coach Sullens.
The Warren County High School freshman team will begin play Thursday, Nov. 20 with a home game against Cookeville. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. at Charlie Dalton Gym.