North Jackson basketball coach Tony Brown took two different approaches to summer competition with his teams.
Brown, who serves as the head coach for the North Jackson varsity and junior varsity girls and boys hoops teams, used “co-practices” with a couple of fellow Jackson County teams while the Chiefs boys teams took part in two play dates each.
The North Jackson’s varsity girls, who return only one starter (Arielle Haynes) and four players in all (Bailey Abernathy, Peyton Hill and Tyra Smith) did not participate in traditional play dates but instead took part in several “co-practices” with Woodville and defending Class 2A state champion Pisgah.
“We did things a little different but it was good,” Brown said. “We could stop (the scrimmage) at any point and correct things. We didn’t keep score. It was practice together type thing. They put in some good work.”
North Jackson’s varsity and junior varsity teams participated in both.
Meanwhile, the North Jackson’s varsity and junior varsity boys competed in two play dates each.
The varsity boys played twice at Supreme Courts in Guntersville, posting a 3-1 record with wins over Brindlee Mountain, Coosa Christian and defending Class 3A state champion Fyffe and a loss to Douglas.
Playing varsity for the Chiefs this summer were returning starters Brady Cunningham and Preston Miller as well as DeVontay Pickett, Gannon Jernigan, Nick Sprinkel, Kylan Cagle, Kade Cagle, Jayden Eakin, Cadale McDonald, Malachi Potter and Zeke Ballard, who was a starter on the Chiefs’ 2018-19 team who played last season at Marion County (Tennessee).
“The boys put in some hard work. We focused a lot on getting stronger and had a trainer come in to work with the ones that don’t play football,” Brown said. “In games I subbed five-in, five-out, mainly wanted to see what they could do. We didn’t run many plays just wanted to focus on pushing the ball, because we want to pick up the tempo. We (experimented) some with different (lineup) situations, playing with more guards out there and playing both our bigs at the same time.”
The North Jackson junior varsity team went 4-1 in its play dates, one at Supreme Courts and one at North Sand Mountain High School.