First Presbyterian Christian Academy boys basketball team went 22-4 overall and 10-0 in their region last year to win their fourth state basketball title.
And Highlander coach Shane Smith said they have every chance of repeating this year.
“This is the year I actually expected us to be there,” he said, adding he didn’t think the team would get to the finals the way they did last year. “We were young and I thought we would need to mature, but we matured quicker than I thought they would. We have everybody returning from last year. Our top seven kids are back."
Smith said he has a small but strong roster for the season.
This year’s incoming senior class includes George Mitchell, Trayvon Harris, Brandon Attical and John Killough, all starters from last season. Juniors are Khalyn Weekley and Marcus Williams. And some of the team’s returning top scorers are still just sophomores in Isaiah Scott, Simon Steele and Sensier Carnes.
Smith said the squad just needs to hammer out the small details of the game to make another state run.
“Offensively we need to be sharper and take some better shots and make better passes,” Smith said. “Defense is key, so we need to play better defense. If we do those things, I don’t think there will be a problem in getting back to where we were last year.”
Most of the players are in shape after ending football season a month ago.
Smith said they are excited about the new schedule. It is the first year the Georgia Independent School Association and The Georgia High School Association are allowing private school to play public schools.
The FPCA boys will be at Claxton Thursday to start the season.
“It’s to get us ready for region play and another state run,” Smith said about adding public schools to the schedule. “I like to challenge my kids and see how far I can push them, and I know we can play against the public schools.
FPCA will play in a tournament at Savannah Christian where they will play Groves and Hilton Head. The Highlanders will also play public schools at the Statesboro Gentlemen’s Classic in December.
FPCA tips off at Claxton at 6 p.m. with the Lady Landers taking the court first. The boys game will be afterward.