Glenwood Gators and Lady Gators get ready for the first game of the season
Nov. 9, 2017
By Ronald Frazier
Coming off a boy’s state championship for 2016-2017, Glenwood coach Dusty Perdue is excited about his team for the coming season and their prospects.
“This is a fun bunch to be around and we have eight seniors and an athletic group for this year. It is going to be a great opportunity for all our players,” he said of this year’s team.
“This will be the first time in a long time that I will not have a big guy in the middle. Our tallest player will be 6-4 but we will be athletic,” Perdue said.
Gone from that title team is center Trip Day, Brandon Moseley and James Beck. In addition, Cameron O’Neil has chosen to concentrate on football as he has already committed in college to play for Pittsburgh and was injured in the Gators final football game.
“That’s the nature of our sport. Those guys had to graduate some time,” said Perdue.
“I will get the football players in practice for the first time,” Perdue added. “We have been practicing for a while as we will open on November 14th.”
The Gators open at home against Trinity Christian of Sharpsburg, Ga. with junior varsity play beginning at 4:30 p.m..
Although the Gators did graduate some key players, there are two starters returning to the courts that will be important in the Gators plans, Christian Clausell and Nick Adams, both who have played for Perdue for three years.
In addition, two players that have come off the bench for Glenwood during their careers will also see playing time, Chad Dykes and Micah Herring.
“Chad works hard inside and on defense and Micah is in his best shape ever and are getting the chance as seniors to be starters,” said Perdue of his two swingmen.
“And Brooks Barton who played some at guard will be getting a chance to contribute as well.”
Three more football players will also suit up for basketball for the first time, Bryce Valero, Justin Jackson and Daniel Trzpuc, better known by his nickname “Tater”.
Trzpuc at 6-4 and 295 and Valero is 6-2, 205 so that gives the Gators a presence inside.
“Bryce will remind you of Brandon the way he goes after rebounds and gets inside,” said Perdue. “Jackson played at Pacelli so he is capable of contributing as well.”
Glenwood also has two Shaw transfers that will be playing in Andrew Tillery and Liam Carbone. Perdue also reports that freshman Bryce Rosier will also play.
“Rosier can shoot the ball,” Perdue said.
Rounding out the 15-man roster are Chance Nix, Austin Downey, Tyler Horne and Owen Thomas.
After the opener, Glenwood has also scheduled schools from the public sector, Our Lady of Mercy in Fayetteville, Ga. and Houston County, a class 6-A team in Warner Robins, Ga.
“My guys said I didn’t ease up on them and they were right. We want to play strong competition to get ready,” said Perdue.
Perdue names Tuscaloosa Academy, the team Glenwood beat in the championship game last year along with Lakeside of Eufaula and arch-rival Lee Scott.
Lady Gators look forward to championship game
Glenwood’s Lady Gators are preparing for the coming season with only one goal in mind, to get back and defend the state championship won by Glenwood in Feb. 0f 2017.
Key to that march will be the return of two players recovering from knee injuries that both had surgery, Quan Holton and Katie Suarez. Holton’s injury was at the end of the season with torn cartledge, though she was able to play in the semifinals and finals and Suarez was lost for the entire season with a torn ACL.
“Both girls look good and they can shoot the ball. I expect them to come right back and contribute for us,” said Glenwood Coach Julie Humphries.
Two key losses to graduation were Dajia Jones and Audrey Crowe.
“On offense we will have more weapons and shooters and our drop off will be on the defense. Dajia gave us a lot of pressing possibilities and Audrey’s rebounding and shot blocking helped.” said Humphries. “But I think that JJ Woods will pick up for Audrey and Morgan Grant is also back.”
Grant has been playing for three years and newcomer JJ Woods from Northside is expected to get rebounds and play inside. Two more newcomers are going to see playing time as well, Kassie Kile and Payton Corbett. Kile came from Northside of Columbus as did Woods, while Corbett moved back to this area from Kentucky. Humphries is expecting all of the new faces to contribute.
To assist the team in getting stronger for 2017-2018, Glenwood has added several public schools to the schedule. Both the boys and girls will play Our Lady of Mercy and Houston County in Georgia and the Lady Gators have a home game against Shaw High School on December 12th.
Returnees from last year besides Grant and Holton will be Maddie Dykes, who stepped into the starting job at the end of the year and is now a junior. That puts the current starting five as Dykes, Holton, Suarez, Woods, and Grant.
The Lady Gators also have plenty of experience on the bench with players that have seen action in varsity play including Anna Perdue, senior Abby Brown, Jaycee Griggs, Emily Sawtelle and Brianna Fanning.
Kendall Downey, Taylor Johnson and Macie Fanning, Brianna’s younger sister adds additional depth.
“If we keep everyone healthy, I expect us to be in the playoffs and defend our state title,” said Humphries. “That’s what we are working on playing for the state championship.”
Humphries knows that the road will be a tough one that includes two games with arch-rival Lee Scott and Tuscaloosa Academy, the team that eliminated Glenwood in the semifinals in 2016.
“The schedule has some strong competition and that is what we wanted. I think we have a good team now and a chance to be a very good team,” she added.