Everything is brand new for the Delta High School boys basketball team.
Between a large senior class during the 2019-20 season and a COVID-shortened schedule in 2020-21, there are a lot of fresh faces for the Panthers program. But although they’re new to the varsity hardwood, many are names known from the football and baseball programs, and that athleticism will be key, said Delta coach Rob Ames.
“We’re brand new,” the coach said. “Of the 20 guys we have between JV and varsity, 14 of them are football players whose season ended last weekend in heartbreaking fashion. We’re really in that first week and have only gotten through team selection. So, brand new is the vibe. We have a good group of kids. Four seniors on the squad and we’re dovetailing that with four freshmen on JV.”
Ames said a strong group of sophomores have spent ample time working on their game and this season is where they can gain valuable varsity experience. He added that their contributions as three-sport athletes can potentially speed up their development as basketball players.
“They’re young and inexperienced,” Ames said. “But they’re closing in on experienced.”
The Panthers finished 20-5 during the 2018-19 season but have finished with a record under .500 for the past two seasons. Ames said the mix of senior leadership, a strong sophomore class and talented multi-sport athletes could mean good things. It’s just hard to tell this early in the year.
“We’re at the stage where we’re trying to figure out who sits where on the bus,” Ames said. “I can go up and down the line-up and we probably don’t have somebody starting in the same spot they were last year. It’s a new look and we have some fun ideas. It’ll be good to see how this comes together.”