The sounds of a dribbling ball, squeaking shoes, and buzzers going off herald a new season of Cedartown basketball and a new outlook.
The Bulldogs, coached by Benjie Frazier, are looking forward to a more fortuitous season than their 2019 campaign. After qualifying for the playoffs the year prior, a late-season slump doomed Cedartown’s chances to advance to the postseason.
“I’m excited, having another year to come out and lead my boys onto the court,” Frazier said.
After four seasons in a rough Region 5-4A, the Bulldogs now find themselves a member of Region 7-4A.
“The good thing is that we won’t have to come out and play a team like Sandy Creek, who has a top-five player committed to Auburn. They aren’t in this region,” Frazier said. “With that being said, there’s still a lot of good teams in our region. You can’t overlook any team in this one either.”
Cedartown will compete against the likes of Central-Carroll, Heritage-Catoosa, Northwest Whitfield, Pickens, Ridgeland and Southeast Whitfield in their new region.
“Our focus is to come out and win every moment. If we can win every play, we can beat anyone,” Frazier said.
Original plans are for Frazier to be without the services of senior Jayden Johnson, a football standout who was planning to enroll in college early at the University of Arkansas.
However, the Cedartown alum still returns a good amount of starters from the 2019 squad. The Bulldogs have all-region caliber players such as MJ Holiday, Jeremiah Johnson and Elijah Diamond.
“I’m happy with the guys we are returning, but the struggle now is that we (started) practice (late),” Frazier said. “COVID-19 pushed our season back a couple weeks and the majority of our players are on the football team. Once we get all the players in practice, I’ll have a better idea of where we stand.”
Cedartown starts region play on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at Southeast Whitfield. The home opener is set for Friday versus Northwest Whitfield, but that is likely to change with the Bulldogs hosting the Class 4A football state quarterfinal contest with Bainbridge.
Cedartown’s Breast Cancer Game will take place on Feb. 5 against Heritage-Catoosa before the Bulldogs host Rockmart for Senior Night on Feb. 6. Like the girl’s team, Cedartown’s boys will compete in the Haralson County Tournament from Dec. 28-30.