Although the Blue Jays lost a number of players to graduation, including the second-leading scorer in school history, Jared Greenlee, second-year head coach J.C. Carter has a great group of athletes returning this season and he believes that this team could be even better than last year.
The Blue Jays are led by two returning starters: 6’4” junior guard Blayne Armstrong and 6’2” junior guard Lawfton Summers. The Blue Jays also return senior guard Kerrick Wright, senior guard Brett Diehl, and 6’9” junior center Shelby Dowler.
Carter also has a trio of newcomers that he expects will step up and help the team this year.
“Sophomore Lucas Clift will probably start in the post,” said Carter. “He is doing a lot of good things and will get a lot of playing time with the potential to start. Logan McArnarney will help us with rebounding and will also have a chance to start. Bradey Welch is another sophomore who can really shoot [the ball].”
While it is clear to Carter that it will be the play of his guards that will be the strength of the Blue Jays’ team this year, he understands the post play will determine if the they can take the next step and become district champions.
“Our guard play will be our strength with Blayne and Lawfton coming back,” said Carter. “Lawfton has put on a ton of muscle and is probably one of the most athletic kids in the area, and Blayne is so gifted that he may play point for us in one game and play post on other nights. Both are very versatile and can play the one through five. That being said, how well we play in the post and how well we rebound will determine how well we will do.”
Overall, Carter has high hopes and expectations for his talented group of players this season.
“I think this team has a chance to be really good,” said Carter. “I think our defense needs to improve and we are pretty young, but we have a great group of guys and great work ethic. I love coaching these guys. We just need to get the kinks worked out early and this team has a chance to be pretty decent.”
The Blue Jays begin their season on Monday, Nov. 26 in the Buffalo Tournament when they take on the Camdenton Lakers.