Their inaugural varsity team camp was a three-day event, packed with back-to-back games, involving schools within the county and several outside – Central-Carroll, Chapel Hill, East Paulding, Kennesaw Mountain, North Paulding, Rockmart, South Paulding, Villa Rica and Woodland.
Head basketball coach Gil Davis said, “We’re trying to make the program as big as we possibly can — not just in South Paulding, but through the county and outside.”
Each game consisted of two 20-minute halves, running clock and three-minute break at halftime. Each team had two timeouts per game and overtime was done sudden-death style.
The Spartans played four games on day one, three on day two and three more on day three. With several of his players also on the football team and having workouts in the morning, Davis said he knew the camp would be a little rough for some of them.
“They’ll be tired but it won’t be that bad,” he said.
Prior to this event, Davis said the focus for his team this summer is to get better. After finishing his first season as the head coach with an 18-9 record, Davis said, “I’m happy about getting 18 wins, but we didn’t get our goal. This year, it’s not a success unless we make it to state.”
Coming off a 5-21 record from 2011-2012, Davis said he understands the excitement surrounding the upcoming season. However, he said he doesn’t want the players, school or community to be so easily satisfied, but instead stay driven to be better.
“We’re still trying to get to a high level. We made leaps and bounds but still trying to reach that level and compete every day,” Davis said.
Looking to the upcoming season, Davis said the team “has a chance to be better than last year” as far as depth is concerned. He also said some freshmen could make the varsity team as they have a “really good” freshmen class coming in – “one of the best in a long time.”
Davis mentioned three returning players he expects to be key for the Spartans in the coming season – rising junior CJ Baisden, and rising seniors Khalia Hackett and Jordan Roberts.
He also mentioned rising sophomore Anthony Brown as he has started for the team all summer.
“A lot of people are going to sleep on us, but I think this team will have a huge say-so at playoff time. We’re going to push and try to be there when it matters,” Davis said.