New Community R-VI’s varsity boys basketball coach David Smith feels strongly his one-game-at-a-time mentality and last season’s success will push the Trojan squad in the hunt for a district championship title and move the team into state competition.
“My specific goal is to compete for a district championship and get into the state championship,” Smith said. “We are all very much focused on that goal.”
The Trojans come into the 2012-13 season with seven freshman, seven returning players, and three returning starters. The squad moved to the Class 1, District 9, where Smith expects bigger teams will prepare the team for that district title. Smith said he expects his seniors to lead the team but the team overall is standout.
“I’m not one to say one player is better than the others. We have a team with a lot of talent,” he said. “Everybody talks about leading scorers — it’s a team game and that’s how we play.”
“We can score, we can guard and as long as we can guard, we can be pretty dang good.”
Smith said he looks to returning players Sean Wilson, Justin Durham, and Ryan Kitchen to bolster his younger players.
“They have been really a very positive influence. They make sure the younger men know what they’re there for,” Smith said. “They’re very good about making sure we’re on task but on the lighter side, making sure we’re having fun.”
Smith said the investment for the team this season is in defense, with a solid foundation and good depth already secured.
“As long as we can take care of the ball, guard, and rebound the ball, we’re going to be very competitive night in and night out.”
New to the EMO conference, Smith said EMO has been known to be good overall. He said Clopton is a year-in-year out strong program, as well as North Callaway
“Playing the bigger schools, that’s going to prepare us for districts,” Smith said. “I know a lot of people think we’re going to be good. We can’t overlook anybody, we just have to show up and play. You go to a game and you play the best you can, and then you get ready for the next one.”
“Every game is important,” he said. “Again, we’re going to play one game at a time.”
He said keys for the team are to guard, rebound, take care of the ball, and make open shots.
“If we can do that, we’re going to be a hand full,” Smith said.
Last year, the Trojans advanced to their first Class 2 District Championship game before falling in the finals