The Haralson County High School boys basketball coach realizes there will be the growing pains that come with playing primarily underclassmen, but he noted that the best way for them to learn is to get out and get after it.
Even if that means taking their lumps as freshmen and sophomores.
“Out of my top 10 next year for varsity, about four or five of them will be freshmen,” Brown said. “Then there will be about two or three more that will be sophomores.”
It’s certainly made for an interesting summer thus far, where Brown has had to focus on the teaching aspect of coaching, first and foremost.
“I almost feel like I’m changing diapers sometimes at halftime with some of the little lessons you got to learn,” Brown said. “But you’ve got to play. That’s the only way to learn is to play.”
But what has the Rebel coach so upbeat about this group is its potential to grow into a strong squad if it sticks together.
“This year may be some learning pains, but we’ve got some good-looking kids coming up,” Brown said. “We’ll be very young this year. But I’m looking forward to the future. It may take a while to develop, but I am looking forward to it.”
Brown was encouraged by the effort he saw from his team recently at the Temple team camp that culminated with a 46-20 loss to Alexander.
The Rebels, who only had seven players dressed that day due to sharing with football camp and other things, were playing their third game of the day short-handed in the summer heat and hit a wall come the second half as the Cougars pulled away late to make for the lopsided score.
“So by the second half, we were about dead,” Brown said. “We didn’t have anything left.”
Haralson County, which finished 9-16 last season, lost graduating seniors Bo White, Lance Holland, Will Hilderbrand and Hunter Williams, to name a few, along with rising senior James Bryant, who transferred during the past schoolyear.
The few returning players Brown does have include Cody Maria, James Watkins and Jacob Eubanks, a trio of upperclassmen he said will have to help shoulder the load this season.
“I’m counting on them to kind of lead us through this transition period,” Brown said. “I had a lot of seniors last year. So it’s a new phase for us this year. But hopefully it’ll be a team that stays together for the next two or three years.”
With that promise in store, Brown is working hard in hopes of turning some of his young guys into varsity material a little earlier than expected.
“Well, for the first time since I’ve been here we may have some height this year,” Brown said. “And for the next couple years. I’ve never really had a whole lot. I have three seniors that have been with me for a while. They’ve came up through the JV ranks, and I’m counting on them.”