The Armuchee Indians are preparing to begin battle in a new, nine-team region, 6-A Public, as the 2020 campaign dawns.
After a 6-20 finish to 2019-20, the Indians start anew against some new faces, consisting of Atlanta Classical, BEST Academy, Bowdon, Drew Charter, Fulton Leadership, Gordon Lee, Mt. Zion and Trion. Indians head coach Clint Decker wrote in an emailed statement the team only has some familiarity with Gordon Lee and Trion.
Roster-wise, Armuchee debuts its largest senior class in recent years with eight in total. Of the seniors, Decker mentioned Ethan Aker, Chandler Cook and Wyatt Miller as anchors of the team, adding that Cook and Miller are the lone two returning starters.
While possessing a heavy senior class, Decker shared he is expecting big things from two juniors in Kemah Orr and Jasmynd Payne.
“Both played varsity minutes last season and are expected to step in and contribute this year,” Decker said. “We have also had several new additions join the team this year as well and we are excited to see how they help contribute to our team.”
Last season, Decker noted, the Indians struggled to rebound and control the basketball.
“Lacking in these two areas means the difference in wins and losses,” Decker said. “We feel like we will have a team this season that will value rebounding and also taking care of the ball.”
Armuchee has been allowed to practice since Monday, Oct. 26. Now approaching three full weeks of practice, Decker highlighted the group’s progress in preparing for the start of the regular season.
“The guys are really competing with each other and bringing an intensity to the team that makes us excited about the possibilities for this team,” Decker said.
The 2020-21 basketball season will be a unique navigational challenge for everyone.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, Decker said he is speaking with the team every day about the importance of being diligent in regard to their personal space.
“It is obviously not an ideal situation for anyone, especially the student/athletes,” Decker said. “However, we have told them it beats the alternative, not getting to play. We have told our guys that on any given day, someone can be quarantined, which means the next man up mentality has never been more true.”
Decker mentioned this year’s squad will have the most dressed-out players of any team he has fielded at Armuchee High School. There will be 15 in total.
“It was not by design to have that many, but I believe with the uncertainty of COVID, it could be a blessing in disguise,” Decker said.
After a scrimmage game against the Unity Christian Lions on Thursday, Nov. 19, the Indians open their 2020-21 regular season on Saturday, Nov. 21, at B.E.S.T. Academy in Atlanta, with tip-off scheduled for 2 p.m.