By R. Alan Richardson sports editor
Head Boys’ Basketball Coach Jamond Sims enters his second year at the helm of the program and comes into the season optimistic about his team’s chances. Sims came in last year under a lot of pressure with the Dogs winning the State AAA title in 2014 under Coach Charlemagne Gibbons. Gibbons left for the college ranks and home grown Sims took on the looming task. His team came one game and two points shy of a repeat and grabbed a AAA runner up finish. Can they reload again is the question? Morgan County has become a hot bed of basketball talent and Sims feels he has a chance to be a contender again. There are some obvious big shoes to feel.
Tookie Brown sailed off to Georgia Southern and Joseph Rogers will be sorely missed as well. Sims had this to say, “Tookie was the heartbeat of this program for the past four years. It’s hard to replace the void in the scorebook of 25-30 points you knew he was going to give you. Some people don’t realize how valuable Joseph was for us. He was the glue guy blocking shots, getting key rebounds, taking charges, picking up loose balls. There wasn’t much flash about him but he played in over 100 games here and just knew how to win.” Rogers is now working on the coaching staff as a volunteer coach while attending GMC.
Last year Sims employed an eight man rotation for the majority of the season with no major big man in the middle, but he said that rebounding was not an issue until Jenkins Savannah out rebounded them in the state championship game. “It usually wasn’t a big deal as we went up against some big teams during the season with 6-8 and 6-9 guys that signed with teams like South Carolina and North Carolina. I don’t think it will be an issue this season either.” said Sims. Big guns for the 2015-16 season will be Devorious Brown, Jailyn Ingram, and Deshaven Reynolds. Sims again remarked, “Devorious has been getting it done since the ninth grade and has had an opportunity to play in tough games against the highest level competition. Jailyn is an elite athlete that brings so much to the table for us. The best thing about him is that as good as he is offensively, he is an even better teammate when it comes to sharing the ball.”
Again, AAA basketball is one of the best with the likes of East Jackson sporting three sophomores that are projected to be Division I signees and Oconee. The Warriors return a ton of experience from a year ago along with some up and coming younger players. Sims made some final remarks, “This year top to bottom we should be more athletic and have depth with the younger kids moving up through the program to fill in where some of those seniors vacated some minutes. They were able to watch those seniors and what it means to go hard in practice and compete. I’m very proud of these guys and look forward to watching them play. They are a great group of kids. In the two years I’ve been here I’ve never had one major discipline problem from any of them. That makes it fun to coach them.”