- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Joe Chandler
It’s time to get down to business. Actually, for Halifax County High School head varsity boys basketball coach Lynn Ramage and Comets varsity girls coach Matthew McCargo, business has already started.
The two coaches made their final cuts at mid-week last week and, on Thursday and Friday, began settling players into their respective practice routines.
Both coaches have teams that will have a veteran look about them, with McCargo’s 12-player roster featuring seven returnees from last year’s squad and Ramage’s 15-player roster having eight returning players from last year’s squad.
Among the returning players on the Comets varsity girls team are seniors Whitney McCargo, Nia Brown and Tiffany Wilson. Also returning are juniors Shameika Canada, Mylese Brown, Destiny Betts and Stephanie Carr.
The Comets coach also has sophomore Jaynee Campbell and juniors Jamilia Smith and Ashley Leachman moving up from last year’s junior varsity team.
Newcomers to the team are Suma Brandon and Chalese Bowman.
“Things are going pretty well,” McCargo said Friday of his initial practices with his team.
“The girls are working hard. We’re going over the basics right now. I’m pleased with the way the girls having been picking things up. We’ve been working them pretty hard to get them in shape.”
The Comets girls will face their first test Tuesday with a scrimmage against Dan River High School.
Ramage has a solid core group of returning players led by senior Kejuan Mayo, who is beginning his third season with the varsity team. Also back are seniors Dashon Dabbs, Robert Jackson, Marcus Williams, Shaquan Bailey, Demetrius Burrell and Tevin Gayles. The list of returning players also includes junior Demetre Faulkner.
Players moving up to the varsity squad from last year’s Comets junior varsity team include Kendell Adams, Trey Cole, Kelvin Davis Jr., Keon Gutrich and Keith King.
Also making the team were Deshawn Clarke and senior Markee Brooks.
Senior Lemal Adams and Keith Gutrich Sr. were named as alternates.
“We’re not a big team, but we will be built for speed,” Ramage said.
“It’s going to be run, run press and run. I think we will be a fun team for fans to watch this year.”
Like McCargo, Ramage said he has been pleased with the progress of initial team practices.
“Right now, we’re just trying to get our basic defensive principles down,” Ramage explained.
“We’re spending 30 to 45 minutes of practice working on the fundamentals of defense. That is something that we did not do last year. I blame myself for not emphasizing that enough last year.”
Ramage said he is pleased with this year’s team.
“We’re happy with the players that we have chosen this year,” he pointed out.
“We love the chemistry of this group. We love the closeness of this year’s team.
“We will be a better team than we were last year,” Ramage added.
“I don’t know how good we will be, but we will be better than we were last year.”