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Opp plans to get off to good start in new season

Getting off to a good start early this season is essential, according to Opp boys basketball coach Ronnie Sansom.

Sansom is coming into the season as the new coach for the Bobcats and said he is anxious to get started.

“It’s exciting of course this time of the year when you’re all together. It makes you a little bit anxious to try and get everything in for the first game of the season on short days of practice,” Sansom said. “We’ve had a good week of practice. The attitudes have been real good and the effort has been real good. It’s just a matter of being able to execute when it comes game time.”

When it comes to game time, Sansom said the team has to execute well, given the number of inexperienced players on the team.

“We’ve just got to play hard,” he said. “I only have two varsity players returning from last year and I have three kids that have moved off of the B-team. The rest of the team hasn’t played in a couple of years.

“We just need to play hard and try and improve at every practice and at every game, trying to play our best possible basketball come January,” he said.

The start of January for every high school basketball team signifies the beginning of area play.

Sansom said he is aware of the area games’ importance, but getting off to a successful start in the season is also key.

“Our early games are important,” Sansom said. “I don’t know of any one in particular. We want to get off to a successful start. We’ve got a tough schedule with Andalusia on there. Our area is going to be tough with Bullock County, Brewbaker (Tech) and Ashford.

“So, we need to get off to a really good start early on to build some confidence going into the Christmas tournament and area play.”

Sansom said he hopes to have a good idea about his team’s ability and potential by Christmas.

“I think by the Christmas tournament we’ll have a good gauge,” he said. “We’ll have played Andalusia one time already. We’ll also have played in a tournament in Daleville. We should have a pretty good gauge as to where we stand by Christmas as far as area play.”

Sansom said he has not yet decided who will start for the Bobcats.

“I’m relying on the kids that have played B-team for me last year,” Sansom said. “I’m relying on them right now because they know what’s going on. I’m still trying to judge how fast some of them are picking some of this stuff up and being able to execute it.

“Right now, I’m mixing the line-up in practice to let the kids play in different (positions),” he said. “I’m also trying to find out what chemistry works the best and what positions certain guys can play. I honestly feel like everybody on my team will be contributing in games and playing.”

Sansom added that he feels his team has a lot of depth this year.

“This is probably the most depth I’ve had,” he said. “Six guys that will be playing guards or small forwards for me are equally talented as far as being able to handle the ball and being able to play.

“I feel really good about our depth right now, it’s just a matter of the kids picking up on our system and feeling comfortable about what they’re doing.”

The Bobcats start their regular season Thursday night as they travel to play Elba. The B-team starts the night off at 4:30.