Shady Spring – There was a lot of change in Charmco this past spring.
Gone is a senior class that helped Greenbrier West break a 27-year snide and return to the basketball state tournament two times in three years.
The Cavs followed by taking advantage of the recent three-week period to see what the next generation looks like.
It’s also given West head coach Jared Robertson an opportunity to sit back and evaluate what he’ll have. Literally sit back.
“We started playing a summer league the first week of June,” Robertson said. “Unless I was using flex days I wasn’t going to coach them in games anyways. So I’ve got a couple good dads that help me out during the season that were happy to jump in and we got to the three-week period and I told them ‘guys, you just go ahead and coach.’ I talk to them a little bit in between games about things we need to work on, but we lost so much and we’ve got so much youth. I just want them to play, get some nerves out and get used to the speed of the game because it’s a lot of JV kids and it’s a step up coming to the varsity level.”
While he’s been watching from the bleachers more than the sidelines, Robertson’s had his fingers all over preparing next season’s team. He made sure they were challenged in competitive summer leagues and shootouts.
On such challenge was the Shady Spring Shootout on July 19.
The event featured Class AAA champion Shady Spring and Independence, Class AA teams Wyoming East, Liberty, Bluefield as well as some other talented programs in Tyler Consolidated and Greater Beckley.
“We have a lot of young guards and we faced Bluefield,” Robertson said. “They’re as fast as any team you will ever see in Class A and then some. It’s a big adjustment for kids but we always try to play tougher teams in the summer because it makes it a little easier when you get to the season. But even seeing teams like Greater Beckley – they’re very talented, Bluefield’s talented, PikeView’s scrappy. I think you get to watch kids learn from game to game. Once we get to the season it’s easier to find the things we really need to focus on. It’s a lot of help to come out here and build.”
Still, the Cavs are reeling from the loss of seven seniors, including first-team all-stater Kaiden Pack. The stable isn’t completely empty though. The summer period hasallowed Chase McClung, a key contributor to last year’s team, to show what he can do in a leadership role.
“He’s the one kid we have back that’s played a ton,” Robertson said. “It’s amazing seeing him step into the senior role without saying a word. He plays so hard and when he gets on these kids they respect him. He’s going to be our leader – it’s obvious watching. We’ve got a lot of younger kids out here. It’s going to be exciting to see them grow from this summer.”
Contact Tyler Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org, call him at 304-731-5542 and follow on Twitter @tjack94