Young Warriors gain experience in seesaw season
The Pocahontas County Warriors basketball season ended last Friday, when the team lost a second-round sectional game at Moorefield, 55-42. As usual, the young roundballers played a competitive game, but matched up against a more experienced team.
Experience in high school sports means senior starters and juniors with lots of playing time. Even with a crop of highly talented juniors, a team like the Warriors is at a disadvantage without senior leadership. The Warriors had a total lack of senior leadership this season due to no seniors on the roster. The good news is – the team’s talented juniors will become the seasoned senior leaders of next season.
Head Coach Tim McClung reflected on the season.
“We had four juniors, several sophomores and about 13 freshmen this year,” he said. “The majority of the year, we started three juniors and two sophomores. Our first game, we got a win. Then we got a couple losses. Then we went on a winning streak of about five games in a row. Then we hit a valley and we lost some games that we thought we should have won.”
Consistency is always difficult to achieve with younger players. That problem was exacerbated for McClung this season, when record-breaking cold caused the cancellation of several games and disrupted the team practice schedule.
The coach feels positive about the team’s development this season.
Overall, we did show improvement,” he said. “There’s things we don’t do anymore because we’re young and inexperienced. I believe, with the work we’re going to try to get in this summer, the experience the kids will pick up this summer from playing, I think it will be very beneficial to us next year. So, I’m looking forward to next season.”
The coach expects his team to work out on their own during most of the summer.
“We talked to to the football coach last week about implementing some of the stuff they’re doing, like going to their weightlifting class,” he said. “Of course, some of them play football, so they’ll already be there.”
Starting June 14, coaches are allowed to participate with the athletes. McClung plans to take his team to some summer regional tournaments.
“What I’d really like to do is have about 22 games this summer,” he said. “That’s virtually a season. If they can play 22 games in the summer and do some other things, maybe have another clinic, that’ll make a big difference. I look forward to it.”