Playing to get better

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Straughn’s boys varsity basketball team’s goals are clear — to be the very best they can, and to improve each and every ball game, head coach Rusty Andrews said.

That’s at the top of the order for Andrews, who is in his first year as the head varsity boys coach at Straughn.

Andrews takes over a basketball program that has struggled in the last two seasons, where the Tigers only won 21 games.

With most of his varsity players on the football team in the playoffs for football, Andrews said he doesn’t mind it.

“I don’t have any complaints,” Andrews said. “As long as you’re successful.”

Straughn returns two starters in seniors Austin Pickrel and Chris Huggins. The Tigers will be a young team with five seniors and one junior on the team.

Despite the age of the team, Andrews believes his team will be “competitive.”

“We’re going to be competitive with the teams we’re going to play in our county,” he said. “As far as the area — everybody knows that Andalusia’s the team to beat.

“(AHS) Coach (Richard) Robertson does such a great job there,” he said. “They’re so disciplined. They do everything fundamentally sound, and that’s pretty much what I’m trying to get this program to be — fundamentally sound and play basketball — not just get out and run up and down the court.”

This will be the first season Straughn will play basketball in Class 4A. Including Andalusia, the Tigers will battle for area dominance with Ashford and Headland in Area 3.

“It’s going to be a learning experience for our guys,” Andrews said of playing in a new classification.

When talking about goals, Andrews said the main goal is for his team to get better as the season progresses.

“Our goal is always to be the very best we can, and to improve in each and every ball game,” he said. “I can’t do anything about the teams we play, but I can control what we do. I expect us to get better each and every ball game.”

Straughn opens with Pleasant Home at home on Tues., Nov. 30.