ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ERIC CLARK
by Eric Clark
The Peabody-Burns boys’ basketball team burst into prominence last season with a 13-8 record overall and an 8-5 mark in the Heart of America League.
Although the Warriors have improved dramatically since head coach Dave Clark took the reigns three years ago, he and his players are taking one game at a time, despite setting high goals this season.
“I really focus on one day at a time,” Clark said. “Some teams focus on being 26-0. We like to keep our feet on the ground. We have high goals, but we’re keeping them in perspective. We have a stong league, and I tell my guys we could finish 10-10 or have a great season, but it’s up to us.
“Last year, we had a good season, but I hope we can do better this year.”
This season, the Warriors will face some of the toughest teams in the state. The HOA boasts several teams that competed in the Class 2A state tournament last year.
“All our games last year were close,” Clark said. “It will be competitive every night.”
The Warriors have six seniors on the team this year, including 6-3 forward Steven Morgan. Morgan was named to the All-HOA league team.
Clark believes Morgan is a key contributor to his team.
“He’s a farm kid and a fun-loving kid,” Clark said. “He’s a hard-working kid and I think he has a bright future. He just has a positive outlook on everything.”
Clark said this may be one of the most talented teams he has coached while at PBHS.
“I like how our team is shaping up this season,” he said. “We’re excited about this group of kids. They’re great kids and they’re fun to work with. I think we can have an awfully good team.”
By taking care of the ball and playing better defense, Clark said his team will be successful this year.
The only weakness Clark sees in his team might be a good one to have.
“At times we’re too unselfish,” he said. “But they complement each other well. When you need a kid to take a shot, they can do it.”
The Warriors will run more full-court situations and build on their half-court offense and defense.
“They like to get the ball up and down the court,” Clark said. “We want to be able to slow down and push it at times. We have pretty good athletes to do that.”
No starters have been named for Friday’s game against Little River Clark said. In fact, the jury is still out on many of the spots in the Warrior lineup.
“All the starting spots are up in the air,” Clark said. “We have six to seven kids fighting for those spots and that’sencouraging.”
Peabody-Burns will travel to Little River Friday to open its season.