One thing is for certain when talking about the JCMS varsity basketball team this season. The group will be very familiar with their coach.
After coaching the seventh grade last season while Eddie Phillips led the eighth grade to a very successful season, Bones Grindstaff has followed his seventh graders up the ladder and is now the official head coach at JCMS.
Phillips had two very solid years at JCMS and now Grindstaff wants to build on last year's success.
It looks like the eighth grade team has matured physically since last season and he will have an opportunity to take this squad to the next level.
“It's a good group of boys who do good for me,” Grindstaff said. “They have developed more and I'm looking forward to a good year.”
Grindstaff says there are no superstars on the team, just one cohesive unit who works well together.
“I like the way they hustle and work as a team,” he said. “It will be a total team effort.”
The Longhorns, who begin their season next Monday night in Butler against Little Milligan, are ready to surprise some people.
“I think we're really going to enjoy this season,” Grindstaff said. “These are great kids who want to do well for us.
A new era also begins for the JCMS Girls as Rick Snyder takes over the reigns of the Lady Longhorn program for the 2011-12 season.
The JCMS girls have struggled in recent years, but Snyder already feels things are getting better.
“I had some compliments during the jamboree about how hard we compete,” Snyder said. “Right now we're working on our skills, but the girls have a good attitude. They're adjusting to the way I coach, but I'm happy with how they're working.”
One advantage JCMS is going to have is it will have a major size advantage on most schools it plays.
“We have great size and they work hard,” Snyder said. “We picked up a couple of guards that didn't play last year and they will help us at that position.”
Junior Varsity Boys
A well known Johnson County business man who has been involved with the area's youth for a long time will join the JCMS Coaching staff this year as the junior varsity/seventh grade coach.
Brad Reece will take over a group that he is very excited about coaching this season.
“I've got shooters, I've got speed, I've got size and they're very attentive and they want to learn.” he said. “It's a group that likes basketball.”
Reece has a lot of depth this year as he says his team is close to equal in a lot of positions.
A lot of these kids have traveled places outside the county to play against better competition.
“Most of these kids have played competition in Elizabethton and Johnson City,” Reece said. “They have all played together.”
Seventh Grade Girls
Janet Brooks returns for her third year helping the JCMS program and this season her primary duties will be coaching the seventh grade.
Like the eighth grade, this is a group that plays very hard.
“They hustle real well and you can't coach that,” Brooks said. “They have a good feel for the court, we just have to get our basics down.
“They are real athletic and they don't quit. They get after it. They're ball hungry.”
Brooks says the team has good chemistry.
“They read the floor well and work really well together,” Brooks said.
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