The Bradwell Institute Tigers basketball team opened the 2016-17 season Saturday when they traveled across town to face inner-county rival Liberty County.
They took the court with new head coach William Douberly.
The score was not available at press time and will be in an upcoming edition of the Courier.
Douberly takes over for Rhett Hellgren, who held the post for four seasons and went 38-67 with one state playoff appearance. Douberly hopes to turn the team’s luck around after winning just 10 games over the last two seasons.
He said he’ll do so by treating the players like his family.
“In my first year with this team, I have a few things that I am focused on,” he said. “I want my players to know that I love them and will treat like they are my own sons.” I have high expectations for their behavior and character, which I have communicated to them. I demand their best effort and a positive attitude and if they do those two things, then I will be proud of them.”
The Tigers have not made the state playoffs since 2013-14, when they finished with a 16-13 record, just their second winning season in the last 11 seasons. Douberly hopes to instill a winning attitude while helping players keep a “positive attitude and give their best effort.”
“I am also focused on fundamentals and meeting my players where they are,” he said. “If they don’t know how to do something, then I will teach them. Personally, I am constantly evaluating myself to see where I can improve as a coach and if I am doing this, then I will be able to see areas that need to improve and I will be able to reinforce the areas of need with my team.”
The Tigers lost three seniors from their 2015-16 roster and boast a roster loaded with eight seniors this year. Douberly said he has a roster full of talent and he believes they can all contribute to success this year.
“I hesitate to single out a few names as key players when we have so many guys with ability and skill,” he said. “If I were to name key players, I would say that my key players are the guys who will work hard, listen to the coaches, constantly look for ways to improve and do the next right thing. I consider all of my players to be vital to the success of our team.”