New coach steers Blue Devils into action

Published 5:05 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2005

By By Matthew Nascone
Escambia County high school first-year men's basketball coach Jerome Antone said he is pleased with the progress his team is making.
"I am happy they are doing everything well and I am looking forward to a great season," Antone said. "We have the talent to go as far as we want to go."
The Blue Devils return four starters from last year's team. Senior point guard Calvin Hartley, senior shooting guard Quartez James, senior small forward Chris Andrews and junior power forward Frank Taylor all return for the Devils who were 16-12 in 2004.
The team exited the playoffs early with a first-round loss to the UMS Wright Bulldogs 74-55.
Hartley said he believes this will be a better year for the Devils.
"Last year we had guys who didn't want to distribute the ball and this year we will be passing a lot," he said. "Our goal is to get to state and we should be able to accomplish that without the selfishness of last year."
Antone echoes Hartley's desires to get back to the state tournament and takes that a bit further.
"We want to be state champions. That is why you play the game, to be champions," Antone said. "If everyone can play their role we should have no trouble accomplishing our goal."
However high the goals are set, Antone knows the competition will be tough. He said BC Rain should give the Devils their best competition.
"I feel they have a good basketball team. They have won the region many times in the past seven years," he said.
Antone said UMS Wright, Baldwin County and Clark County would also give the Devils tough competition.
Before becoming the head men's basketball coach and an administrative assistant at Escambia County High School in August of 2004, Antone was the head girl's basketball coach and assistant boy's basketball coach at Greenville High School.
The Blue Devils open the season at Baldwin County on Nov. 11 at 4:30 p.m.
The team does not return home until they host Monroe County in Atmore on Nov. 29 at 5 p.m

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