2012-02-15 / Sports

Season ends for Spartans; expectations high for next year

By Tres Bragg tresbragg@bellsouth.net

Their season may have ended sooner than they hoped, but Edmund Burke Academy’s basketball team gained a lot of experience on the court.

The Spartans didn’t tally many marks in the win column this season, but playing in the toughest region in GISA’s Class-AA prepared them for next year’s schedule. “The competition in our region made us a better team,” Spartan coach Drew Bailey said. “The state champions have come out of our region the past two years, and this year’s state champion could easily be from our region again. I wanted to lay a good foundation for next season, and I think we did that.”

Bailey will have his entire team back on the court next year, except for seniors Roy Mead and Dawson Atkinson. Atkinson had limited playing time this season, due to an injury and Mead was the primary ball handler. But, some rising eighth graders are expected to help fill in the gaps.

“ Our guys returning will know what to expect,” Bailey said. “They are leaders and will help the rising eighth graders adapt to the varsity level. During the off season, we’ll be visiting a lot of different team camps. I think the future looks bright for our basketball program.”

Despite their losing record this year, the Spartans learned what it takes to be a team. “We took pride in working hard every day and working as a team,” Bailey added. “We gained a lot of experience, which is usually more important than winning or losing. I’m thankful we had a group of guys that wanted to be coached and wanted to learn more about the game.”

The Spartans will face realignment next season, but will still have some stiff competition in their region. Brentwood and Memorial Day School will be the toughest of the new schools to enter Edmund Burke’s region, while St. Andrews and Trinity Christian should be beatable by the Spartans. Powerhouse schools, First Presbyterian and Frederica Academy will remain in the region with EBA.

Despite the strong competition in the region for next season, Bailey is optimistic that his team can compete. “There is basketball talent at our school,” he said. “It’s just young and undisciplined. But, there is a bright future ahead for our guys. We will win, and we’ll do it without having to recruit.”

*** The Spartans were led in scoring this season by Ben Murray, who scored 317 total points (15 per game.) Mason Winkler had 102 points while David Mead and Roy Mead scored 80 points and 72 points respectively.

Winkler led in rebounds, bringing down 142 total for the season. Murray recorded 125 rebounds, while David Mead had 42. Murray was selected to the all-region team.

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