A high school state champion basketball player has turned his focus in the past three seasons to improving boys’ basketball at his alma mater. Now he and his team have been rewarded with the highest team accolade a junior varsity team can receive in the Northern Neck District.
Pictured from bottom left, going clockwise, Linwood Newman, Chris Graham, Jarret Sumiel, Cullen Bell, DJ Weldon and Drew Douglas.
On Feb. 8, the Washington & Lee JV Boys Basketball team defeated the Essex Trojans to cap off an undefeated regular season with an overall record of 16-4, 10-0 in the district. This comes after finishing at the bottom of the district two seasons ago and 14-6 overall with Northumberland taking the regular season district title.
“It’s been a good year…a really pleasant surprise,” said W&L Head Coach Eugene Greene.
The losses to King George and Chancellor really hurt, Green said, but the team used that as fuel to end the season on a 12-game winning streak.
To start the year, Greene said what set the groundwork was his players taking advantage of basketball sessions and individual improvement opportunities.
“The biggest challenge was getting role players without a lot of game time into game situations and they did really well,” Greene said.
Greene was a member of the 1998 State Championship Basketball Team. When the opportunity arose to coach, Greene said he was excited about the opportunity.
“I was privileged,” Greene said. “I was really anxious and felt like a kid at Christmas time to find out what was going on and when I found out it made me really go back and think where we [W&L] have been as a basketball program.”
While his team has seen success this year, Greene said his student athletes have a lot of work to do to meet those notable times in the school’s basketball history. This starts with improving in the classroom, personal accountability and their basketball skills.
“George [Hunter] and I always talk about how we can improve because we feel like its getting there,” Greene said.
Coach said he is thankful for all the support from the parents and fans.