The George Stevens Academy boys varsity team brings a strong core of returning players with new faces fresh from the junior squad. “We have a good mix of young and old,” Coach Dwayne Carter said of his squad, which regularly goes deep in the season-ending tournament but fell in the quarterfinals last year to Lee Academy.
This year, the players have set their aim highW: “Their goal is to compete for the championship this year,” Carter said. “They’re pretty focused…They want to go further than last year. They have the ability to do it.”
Senior Kelsey Allen returns as starting point guard, bringing “a lot of leadership to the team,” Carter said, while senior Finn Davis-Batt is starting center.
Sidney Beardsworth, Tim Cousins and Wesley Herrick round out the seniors, with Herrick moving up from the junior varsity squad.
“They all bring different things to the table,” Carter said.
Juniors Nick Szwez and Will Entwisle are back, with junior Jacob Bowden and sophomores Jarrod Chase and Cameron Gordon moving up from the JV squad. Freshmen Taylor Schildroth and Max Mattson also have joined the varsity squad.
“We have some depth there,” Carter concluded.
“We’ve been working on a lot of weaknesses and just trying to get back in shape, trying to work on things we’re going to use during the season,” he said.
One weakness Carter points to is defense: “We need to get better. Our defense is going to dictate how we’re going to do.”
Beardsworth “creates some havoc out there” on defense, Carter said, while “we expect [Entwisle] to step up. He’s very aggressive.”
“Offensively, we should be able to score. I’’m not so worried about our offense,” he said.
The Eagles open their season on December 5 at home against Orono, after scrimmaging Ellsworth, Winthrop and Goose Bay Harbor.
“Our scrimmage against Ellsworth was good and competitive. It showed us a couple of things we need to work on,” Carter said.
Specifically, Carter is working the team on its transitions “up and down the court. That’s something we think is going to be an advantage for us.”
The big picture is team work: “We’ve been really stressing that, making the extra pass, supporting each other, which is really what it’s all about,” Carter said. “You don’t have the most talent on the floor, but you have to be the best team.”