Varsity basketball preview


Julian Albright, Web Editor

After losing to Parkway West last year in the district championship game, the boys varsity basketball team is back this year with a chip on their shoulder.

At a preseason jamboree on Sat. Nov. 19, multiple exhibition games between schools were played so everyone can catch a glimpse of the season ahead. U. City did not put on the best performance, ending without a win.

“The jamboree was cool. We got off to slow start but overall everything was cool,” said Moore, a senior, who will be a contributing player this season.

Moore, along with T.J. Crockett, Wallace Simmons, Treyvonn Gentry, and Darrion Smith are the returning seniors along with 10 underclassmen.

One of the biggest keys to success for the Lions this season is senior captain, T.J. Crockett, who is nothing less than crucial. After recently signing to Lindenwood University for basketball, he has proven himself as the team’s best player.

“It’s a big accomplishment,” says Crockett. “And I’m going to be playing next year so I’m ready to go.”

His teammates are also behind him the whole way. They recognize that this isn’t a frequent opportunity.

“It’s not every day a kid from U. City gets out like this,” said Wallace Simmons.

In addition to Crockett and the rest of the seniors, two freshmen and four sophomores are on the roster this year. The underclassmen are ready for an opportunity to contribute.

“It feels good,” said Crawford. “I love the coaches. They gave me a chance, and the work that I put in to get here really paid off.”

Since it is after all a varsity team, the youngest guys are not always the go to players, but that doesn’t faze them. They are in it for the team.

“We want to make this the senior’s best year and to learn things that could help help us be more successful,” said Crawford.

“The good thing about having sophomores and freshmen is that the future looks bright,” said coach, Hurlie Cozart.

For now, the upperclassmen have accepted them on a tight-knit varsity team.

“My captains (Crockett and Smith) are really taking the young players under their wings,” said Cozart. “I really respect how they have stepped up to help the freshmen and sophomores out.”

Cozart, a coach new to U. City this year, is very excited to get to work with the guys. He loves his team. He believes that this team really is a good group of kids.

“[This season] you are going to see a group of players playing hard and getting better every day,” said Cozart. “I can honestly see the team improving as a whole.”