Much improved

Published 11:59 pm Monday, November 23, 2009

Opp coach Ronnie Sansom said he expects his team to be much improved this season.

Last season, many of the players on the Bobcats’ bench were young, having had to move up from the B-team.

The Bobcats ended a dismal 2008-09 season with four wins and 22 losses under their belts. They will again be playing Area 2 in Class 4A with Ashford, Brewbaker Tech, Bullock County and St. James.

“We know we’ll have a tough area again and we’re hoping to use every game up to that to prepare for those and to try to be a factor in them,” Sansom said.

Opp’s first area game is right around the corner on Dec. 8 against St. James at home.

Opp has four returning starters. Gavin Free will be at shooting guard; Britt Wilson will be at point guard; Quadir Kincaid and Steadman Gerber will round out the team on the inside. Of those, Free and Wilson are the only seniors. Kincaid and Gerber are juniors.

Sansom said Kincaid and Gerber should be able to bring a lot of experience to the team this year.

“They got thrown in the fire pretty early,” Sansom said. “We’re going to be hard on the experienced guys from last year. I think there will be some situations that we’ll find ourselves in last year that we’ll handle differently because we’ve been there already.”

In addition, Richard Davis and Tyler Harrison make up the rest of the team that played on last year’s squad.

“(The six returning players) are much improved and I have some guys that are coming up off the B-team that are going to be able to help us along the way,” Sansom said.

Sansom said the defensive side of the ball will change a little bit compared to last year. He said they will be using more “man-to-man” pressure.

“Last year, we bounced back and forth between zone and man-to-man,” he said. “We’re going to have to apply more pressure on defense. I’ve got a lot of quickness with my guards. We’re going to take and use that to our advantage and trap the ball with players and do a little match up zone.”

On the offensive side of the all, Opp will not be using anything different this season.

“We’re going to try to work offensively to get shots as close to the goal as we can,” Sansom said. “We’re going to try to take a good shot selection and increase our chances of getting those rebounds inside.”

Sansom said Gavin Free did most of the scoring for the team last season.

“I think a lot of teams are going to know that about Gavin,” he said. “I think we’re going to have to have some guys step up and take some pressure off of him.”

Competing every day, getting better at every practice and every game, and being competitive in their area are just a few goals Sansom said the team has lined up this season.

The Bobcats will try the list of goals set in their first game of the season tonight on the road in Daleville.