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FPCA looking for 'three-peat'
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Highlander roster
A.J. Ansley
Devon Hodges
DJ Felder
Hakeem Golden
Jordan Johnson
Jose Martinez
Kaelan Dorr
Michael Brown
Michael Farrior

Shavon Stoves

Winning back-to-back state basketball titles isn’t an easy feat, but the First Presbyterian Christian Academy Highlanders accomplished it soon after establishing of their program. The team played its first season in 2006-07 and climbed the rankings quickly. FPCA defeated Bethesda two seasons in a row to become the champs.
This year, the returning veterans, new faces and the school’s new athletic director and varsity basketball coach, David Jones, are looking for a three-peat.
“Of course, in the position I’m in, the only way I can go is down,” Jones said, laughing. “We know everybody is going to be shooting for us because Darrell (West) and David (Linderman) have already set those standards and expectations. Everybody expects and anticipates we are going to have a good team and hopefully we won’t disappoint them.”
While the coach said he doesn’t know what his opponents will bring to the court, he knows what kind of talent he has.
Returning from the two-time championship team are Highlanders AJ Ansley, Hakeem Golden, Mike Brown and Mike Farrior. In addition, Jones picked up Shavon Stoves, who attended Liberty last year, and former BI Tigers Jordan Johnson, DJ Felder and Devon Hodges.
“I think we are going to be a good rebounding team,” Jones said. “I was very pleased when I came into the program in late May/early June. We started getting ready for summer camps and most of the players were practicing with Ernie (Walthour) for the AAU season. And I can see why they’ve (the Highlanders) been able to win as they have. They have some good athletes. They have a lot of playing experience.”
Jones said Hodges and Felder are excellent rebounders.
“Felder is also a pretty good passer for a big kid,” he said.
The coach said Mike Farrior is quicker and stronger than most ninth-graders on the court. He said Farrior is willing to learn and is a great athlete.
“AJ (Ansley) is quick,” the coach said. “He has a smooth touch and is just a good athlete. He also finishes with either hand quite well. We expect a lot out of him. We anticipate he will be recruited this year for college. Mike Brown has three speeds, quick, quicker and quickest, and I think he is still learning how to put all that together, but he is a good leaper and shooter. Hakeem Golden was the top rebounder from last year. I’m glad we have him and not playing against him. He is certainly going to help us get the job done. All the kids are doing a good job and we are 8-9 deep.”
The coach said former Panther Stoves is a good shooter and Jordan Johnson is among the best point guards he’s seen in the area.
“He started for us while we were at Bradwell, as a ninth-grader toward the end of the season,” Jones said of Johnson. “He was able to come in and withstand the pressure and make good decisions. And that is what impressed me. He didn’t get rattled under pressure.”
The coach said he wants to run the press and maintain pressure on both ends of the floor.
“I’m excited and I’m looking forward to this season,” he said. “I’m waiting to see what happens because I have no earthly idea what to expect.”
The coach will get answers soon as the Highlanders open their season tonight at the Faith Baptist Christian Academy Tournament in Ludowici.
They play tonight and tomorrow, but the tournament schedule was not available at press time.
The Courier will provide results as they become available.
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