Cavaliers work hard in the summer
Published 10:59 am Thursday, June 28, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
After a phenomenal four-year run, the Callaway Cavaliers took a step back during the 2017-2018 season.
On an inexperienced basketball team that included two freshmen who were starters from day one, the Cavaliers were in nearly every game, but they struggled to a 3-16 record and missed the state tournament.
Next season, the Cavaliers will try to regain the form that had them winning four consecutive region championships from 2014 to 2017.
To help with that process, the Cavaliers have been on the basketball court a lot this month either practicing, or playing games.
This week, Callaway played four games in two days at Troup.
After playing Heritage and Troup on Tuesday, Callaway took on Newnan and Troup on Wednesday.
Earlier this summer, Callaway faced Lanett, which has one of the top programs in Alabama.
Trey Tucker, Callaway’s junior-varsity head coach, is leading the team this summer.
“Games are more valuable than the practices,” Tucker said. “You’re playing Lanett, which has won three state championships in a row, and (Heritage) made it to the final four, and they’re all back just about.”
Callaway hung tough in losses to Heritage and Troup on Tuesday.
It was a busy day for a number of the players who participated in an 11-on-11 team football camp on Tuesday morning.
Most of Callaway’s players are also on the football team, including sophomore Demetrius Coleman.
Coleman had a big freshman season on the basketball court and is vying to be the quarterback this fall.
“We had an 11-on-11 at Harris County (Tuesday) morning,” Tucker said. “And Demetrius and all of them played over there, and they were worn out.”
In Callaway’s final game of the day, it got within six with 15 minutes to play on a 3-pointer by Coleman, but Troup pulled away for a 69-55 win.
Callaway was back in action on Wednesday, and it beat Newnan before falling to Troup.
Among Callaway’s players this summer are Coleman and JaVontay Boddie, who were starters as freshmen last season.
Jalin Shephard, a sophomore guard who was a junior-varsity player last season, has been getting a lot of playing time this summer, as has junior Duke Simpson, who started as a sophomore last season.
Senior post player Dre Towns, who was at LaGrange High last season, has been getting to work and get to know his new teammates this summer.
Callaway will wrap up its summer schedule this week, and the team will get together in November for the start of official preseason practice.
Terry Hayes, who led the team to the four straight region titles, will return as the Cavaliers’ head coach next season.