Winning summer for Cavaliers
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
They’ve picked up where they left off.
The Callaway Cavaliers got hot at the right time last season, winning three straight games in the state tournament before falling to Laney in the Class AA quarterfinals.
Most of the players who helped the Cavaliers achieve that success have returned, and they’ve been rolling along this summer.
The Cavaliers played 13 basketball games this summer, and they won 10 of them.
Callaway completed its summer schedule with three games on Tuesday, and it beat Troup before losing to Greenville and Griffin.
“We’ve had some good summer basketball, a lot of games and we’ve played a lot of good people,” said Trey Tucker, who coaches the junior-varsity team during the season and leads the varsity team during the summer. “We’ve played Lanett, Valley, Newnan, Northgate, Fayette County, Manchester, Greenville, Troup, a lot of good basketball schools.”
Most of Callaway’s players are splitting their time between basketball and football this summer.
Among the men pulling double-duty are Demetrius Coleman, Antinez Blount, Jacob Freeman, Charlie Dixon and Jalin Sheppard.
Coleman is Callaway’s starting quarterback, and he was the leading scorer on the basketball team last season.
In an 86-83 win over Banks County in the first round of the state tournament, Coleman scored 43 points.
“I don’t interfere with football,” Tucker said. “We practice later in the evening. I take coach (Pete) Wiggins’ schedule, and I’ll get with these other coaches and see what they’ve got going on.”
Tucker is a major proponent of playing as many games as possible during the summer.
“Summer playing is valuable,” Tucker said. “Like I always said, games are more valuable than practices.”
While Callaway is an experienced team, there are some players who will be taking on increased roles this season. Tucker pointed to a pair of players who have really stepped things up during the summer.
“Jacob Freeman and Charlie Dixon are playing real well right now,” Tucker said. “It makes it more valuable having them out here right now.”
With so many talented players returning, and some newcomers ready to make an impact, the 2019-2020 season could be a special one for the Cavaliers.
“They’re going to be a special group,” Tucker said.