Eagles prepared to soar on court

Published 5:18 pm Monday, November 7, 2005

By By Matthew Nascone
Coach Robert Smith is confident his Escambia County Middle School boy's basketball team can go undefeated again this year.
"We should be very successful once again this year," Smith said. "If I can get them in shape and they come out willing to work hard, which they are doing, we will be OK."
The Eagles were 11-0 in the regular season last year and 3-0 in tourney play. However, the team will not be playing as many games in the regular season this year.
"Our schedule for this year only has seven games because it is hard for me to get anyone to play us," Smith said. "I think one of the reasons why is because we have been very successful in the last two years."
"I don't really worry about that; it is all about playing ball and letting the kids have fun."
The Eagles have a good shot at going undefeated in 2005 with four starters and three bench players from last year's team returning.
"I have seven guys who played at least 75 percent of the time last year returning," Smith said.
Smith will have an 8th-grade starting lineup in 2005. Mark Watson and Michael Mitchell will be the starting guards. At forward will be Kingston Craft and Chris Walker. The starting big man at center will be Lawrence Arnold.
The Eagles are improving with every practice, Smith said. He said the boys are slowly, but surely changing from football training to basketball training.
"I can see a big difference from Monday already," Smith said.
Smith and assistant coach Berry Larkin's expectations are high as the Eagles prepare for their first game against Brewton Middle School on Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. in Atmore.
"I expect to go undefeated once again and I see no reason why we shouldn't go undefeated," Smith said.
Smith said he will not take any teams lightly and there are two teams he will be especially careful about.
"I think the most talented team we play is a toss up between Carver, out of Century, Fla., and T.R. Miller," he said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox