|Hillcrest's Kobe Bradley (5) will be back next year.|
Hats off to Hillcrest’s varsity boys and girls basketball teams.
Despite coming up short in the semi-final round of the state tournament last week, neither of these teams have anything to hang their heads about. In fact, it sounds like they have a lot to look forward to.
Taking a look at the starting five for Hillcrest’s varsity boys in the semi-final game last week, Hillcrest had one junior (all-tournament player Kobe Bradley), three sophomores (Jarrett Taylor, Sherman Grace and Ryan Nettles) and one freshman (Chris Lett) on the floor.
All five of these players should be back on the court next year, and most of them will still be on the court two seasons from now. Not only will they be back, but they’ll be older, bigger, stronger and more experienced. In other words, local basketball fans have a lot to look forward to out of this group.
On the girls side, the Lady Jags will have more holes to fill. Of the starting five in the final game, Hillcrest had three seniors (Destiny Simpson, Tykeria Merrills and Temisha Dees) and two juniors (Tyesha Rudolph and Shanecia Salvatore) on the floor.
Hillcrest head coaches Chenson Griffin and Tammie Patrick will also have another year of experience under their belts when the season tips off next year. Griffin and Patrick are two of the finest young coaches in the state, and I hope they remain at Hillcrest for a long time to come.
With the closing of basketball season, baseball and softball (and soccer at Hillcrest) get into full swing.
It’s hard not to like this time of year. We’ve had a mild winter, but spring will bring even more warm, pleasant days, and this weekend’s time change will give us all more daylight hours to enjoy. Spring sports make this an even more enjoyable time of year, especially when you get into the youth baseball season.
The first ever varsity soccer game in Evergreen history was played at Brooks Stadium on Monday when Hillcrest played Thomasville, and this adds a new wrinkle to the local sports scene. Many that I’ve talked to lately don’t know what to make of soccer at Hillcrest, but I encourage all of you to remember that soccer is the most popular sport in the world. If so many people around the world enjoy soccer, we should at least give it a chance.
In my mind, there is no doubt that football (American football, that is) is the most popular sport in our neck of the woods, and it won’t be long before Hillcrest and Sparta will kick off spring football drills. That’s always a signal that graduation isn’t far around the corner, which means that another group of local athletes will leave the sports pages forever only to be replaced by a rising crop of up and coming youngsters.
Looking back through the old copies of the newspaper each week for my Sports Flashback feature, I know that this cycle has been going on for years, and with a few changes here and there, it’s almost as predictable as the order of the months on the calendar and the progression of the passing seasons.