WILLIAMSBURG — The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets will enter the 2019-20 basketball season with high expectations after seeing the bulk of their talent return from last year’s 16-14 squad.
Coach Nick Napier's plan to work on areas of concern during summer ball was a success.
“We wanted to work on fundamentals and improve skill-wise. We also wanted to get more experience learning how to play together,” he said. “I thought we were up and down a bit, but finished the summer very strong. We had several guys in and out of the lineup this summer. I think developing some depth was positive, and I believe we will have a lot of competition for playing time.”
Napier said he was pleased with his younger players during summer action.
He felt his younger core of players proved they can help the varsity team when the season tips off while some of his older players established themselves as contributors as well.
“We had some positives from the standpoint of younger guys coming along and older guys showing leadership,” he said. “Concerns will be rebounding and continuing to improve defensively this upcoming season.
“We also have several players with an opportunity to contribute even more than last year for the first time on the varsity level,” Napier added. “Seniors Tyler West, Tate Fields, and Jason Bray had productive summers. Larry Bray will continue to increase his role. Also, sophomores Bronson Bates and Connor Lay played well.”
Napier said the key to his team’s success could come down to his players buying into the concept of being a team-first player.
“We have a very good veteran nucleus of players back with Caleb Rose, Slaht Hunter, and Dalton Ponder,” he said. “To go along with those guys I already mentioned, Devonte Powell is going to be important for us. We are in a very tough, well-coached district, so we will have to improve every single day, develop individually, and buy into playing together and laying it on the line every time we play.”